Washington, D.C. — Today, the House Committee on Agriculture released the draft proposal for the 2018 Farm Bill, marking a next step in a national discussion on welfare reform. The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) commends members of the committee for their inclusion of reforms that seek to move able-bodied adults from welfare to work and improve program integrity.
The release of Farm Bill follows initial principles issued by the USDA earlier this year that highlight “work as the pathway to self-sufficiency, well-being and economic mobility for individuals and families.” Recent data shows that there are now more than 21 million able-bodied adults dependent on food stamps, three times as many as 2000.
The reforms included in the 2018 Farm Bill, following the Trump Administration’s recent executive order on welfare reform, will refocus the system on the truly needy by prioritizing work for able-bodied adults. The bill calls for an expansion of work requirements to most able-bodied parents and able-bodied middle-aged adults and commonsense reforms that build on successful state-led reforms.
The bill also seeks to improve program integrity by eliminating loopholes and abuse that rob the truly needy of resources and keep able-bodied adults trapped in welfare.
“Food stamps have become a dependency trap for too many able-bodied adults. It should act as temporary safety net for those who truly need it. The Farm Bill does three big things: refocus the program on the truly needy, eliminate abuse to restore the program’s integrity, and use work to move millions of able-bodied adults to self-sufficiency,” said Tarren Bragdon, President and CEO of FGA. “The Farm Bill provides the path to move millions of Americans back to work. Congress should support that opportunity to take that path.”
For additional resources on the Farm Bill click here.
The Foundation for Government Accountability is a non–profit, multi–state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and work reform. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.