In his 2018 State of the Union address, President Trump promised to move more Americans from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity. This year, on December 4, he delivered on that promise, finalizing one of the biggest welfare reforms in a generation.
For more than 20 years, the law has said that able-bodied adults on food stamps should work, train, or volunteer at least part-time. But states like California, Illinois, and New York have used loopholes and gimmicks to waive and ignore that law altogether.
When Congress created the work requirement, it gave the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) the ability to waive the requirement in periods of economic crisis. It allowed states to seek temporary waivers of the work requirement where the unemployment rate was above 10 percent or where there was a demonstrated lack of job opportunities.