WASHINGTON, D.C. (KNWA/KFTA) — Senator John Boozman introduced an amendment that would change who can receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. The amendment was a requirement needed pre-COVID.
Boozman’s proposed changes would “require able-bodied adults without dependents to either work or participate in a work program at least 20 hours per week to receive SNAP benefits beyond three months,” according to a press release.
In March 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law pausing requirements needed for SNAP benefits.
“These work requirements were established on a bipartisan basis,” Boozman said. “They were waived for the COVID emergency on a bipartisan basis. They should be reinstated with bipartisan support [too], now that COVID restrictions have largely ended.”
With employers adding more jobs there are “nearly two job openings per unemployed persons,” a press release from the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry states.
“Job openings are still near a historic high, contributing to our ongoing supply chain bottleneck,” Boozman said. “It is time for these requirements to be enforced so that able-bodied adults return to the workforce.”
The unemployment rate has gone down by 3.5% according to the July jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are 5.7 million unemployed persons.
“Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care,” the report states.
Boozman’s proposal to amend SNAP requirements is an effort to “get more Americans back to work.” Data from the July jobs report shows a continued downward trend in permeant job losers and long-term unemployed persons.