In March of 2020, the government shut down the strongest economy our country had seen in decades and simultaneously forced millions of Americans to rely on the government for everything from food to rent.
Since then, despite the removal of nearly all COVID-era restrictions, the number of Americans relying on some form of welfare or government assistance has increased by 23.4%. As families across the country are working overtime – struggling to fill their tanks and put food on the table – many are now being hit twice. They’re paying their own bills, and they’re paying taxes that are supporting government benefits for people who simply decided not to go back to work.
It’s not surprising, then, that over 2/3 of Americans support a work requirement for able-bodied adults who receive government assistance, like food stamps or Medicaid.
That is why I am cosponsoring the America Works Act, which would require all able-bodied adults without young children to work at least part-time or participate in job training in order to continue receiving their benefits. While 34 million American adults are on Medicaid, more than half aren’t working. This bill will promote accountability, stop free-riding and increase participation in the greatest economy in the world.
Last month’s report showed that job creators added 372,000 jobs – proving that if you are willing to work, there are jobs available. The federal government needs to offer a hand up, not a hand out. The American people know, and overwhelmingly support, that. It’s time for Washington to get with the program!