Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013by Representative Rodney Davis
Posted on 2013-09-19
DAVIS of Illinois. I thank my colleague for yielding time.
Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act.
The unfortunate reality is that one in seven people in this country is on food stamps. Spending on the program has doubled since 2008, and the number of Americans on SNAP has doubled since 2003.
Just as I believe that we must take care of fellow Americans who truly need the help, I also believe that we must address fraud and abuse in the SNAP program and provide opportunities and encouragement to put people back to work.
When unemployment declines, the number of food stamp recipients still increases under our current system. This is simply unsustainable.
It's time for some real change. This bill enforces the work requirements of able-bodied adults without dependents, similar to the reforms in Bill Clinton's 1996 bipartisan welfare reform bill. It eliminates taxpayer-funded advocacy campaigns, closes the ``heat and eat'' loophole, eliminates categorical eligibility to ensure program integrity, and ends State bonuses for administering the program.
I also support the work and job-training requirements in this bill. These programs offer real work skills. Investing in these skills will make individuals more marketable in the workplace. I have introduced a bill on the same topic. It's called the Opportunity Knocks Act. It's going to encourage Americans to take job-training courses while still being able to keep their unemployment benefits. These types of initiatives put Americans back to work.
The most important step we can take to help those 47 million Americans on SNAP is to grow our economy and promote opportunities to put our family, friends, and neighbors back to work.
The farm bill is a jobs bill. Let's move the process forward and support these reforms so that the taxpayers' dollars are spent much more wisely.