The case for expanding food stamp work requirements to parents

Executive Summary

For years, millions of able-bodied adults have been trapped in welfare dependency with little hope of better lives. Enrollment and spending have skyrocketed to historic levels recently, leaving fewer resources for the truly needy.

Thankfully, states have begun reversing Obama-era policies, reinstating work requirements and moving younger able-bodied adults out of welfare and back into the workforce. But able-bodied parents have been left behind.

Able-bodied adults are currently exempt from food stamp work requirements if they have children, even if they have no disabilities that keep them from seeking gainful employment. Without work requirements, many are left to languish in welfare indefinitely.

This is a devastating reality for millions of individuals. Trapped in welfare, without work, they are significantly more likely to be stuck in a life of poverty and despair. To finish the great work that states have already begun, Congress should expand existing work requirements to all able-bodied adults, including parents. In so doing, they will lift millions of Americans out of welfare, save taxpayers billions annually, and free up resources for the truly needy.