(Washington, D.C.) — A Nebraska Congressman pushes for additional work requirements for federal assistance, arguing it wouldn’t just be good for taxpayers, but for the individuals as well.
Congressman Adrian Smith wants to increase work requirements for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, known as TANIF. Smith insists he wants to provide job training and assistance so those receiving federal assistance might get work.
“In a way to help folks get back on the playing field of the economy rather than being on the sidelines,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Smith says a couple of new studies indicate some are opting out of the workforce.
One study estimates five million Americans, ages 16 to 24, are neither in school nor at work. Another study estimates seven million men, in the prime working ages of 24 to 54, are not only not working, they aren’t looking for work.
“When we look at poverty programs, we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help individuals get back onto the economic playing field,” according to Smith.
Smith says federal assistance needs to be concentrated on helping those who need it the most. And while he admits his proposal would cut costs, Smith insists the changes are more important for the individual.
Smith also supports the House version of the Farm Bill which increases work requirements for those receiving food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Both chambers of Congress have approved Farm Bills. Negotiators from the House and Senate now are trying to reach agreement on a compromise piece of legislation. The SNAP requirements is the biggest sticking point.
The House proposes increasing the minimum hours of work or job training to receive food stamps to 25 hours per week. The Senate version retains current work requirements, but expands work training programs.
The current Farm Bill expires on the 30th.