“Poverty is not just the absence of money, but also the absence of opportunity,” said Sen. Lee. “Today’s poverty programs place artificial restraints on those who are trying to get ahead, build careers and provide better lives for themselves and their families. Successful welfare programs are those that make poverty more temporary, not more tolerable, and we need to move current policy in that direction. The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act will give all low-income Americans the opportunity to earn a good living and build a good life.”
The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act corrects and strengthens current welfare programs by restoring work incentives for individuals and families, improving state administration of welfare programs, rewarding states that transition beneficiaries from welfare to work, and imposing greater transparency in means-tested welfare spending.
The bill has been cosponsored by Senators Cruz, Vitter, and Inhofe. Representative Jim Jordan is planning to introduce a companion version in the House.
The bill has been endorsed by the National Taxpayers Union, Heritage Action for America, the Association of Mature American Citizens, and the Concerned Women for America.
How it works:
Strengthens work requirements for all able bodied, work-capable adults receiving SNAP benefits.
36 hours for individuals without dependents;
72 hours for individuals or couples with dependents;
Incentivizes states to comply with work requirements through a phased–in performance measurement system.
Rewards states with a grant equal to ¼ of the savings
Penalizes states bby diminishing funding over time for not meeting requirements
Requires the federal government to report all means-tested welfare spending, including state and local governments, and report estimated levels over the next decade
Phases in a cap on total means-tested welfare spending that is adjusted yearly with inflation
Phased in to 2007 levels over 3 years
What it does:
Restores and improves work incentives for individuals and families
Improves state administration of welfare programs
Incentivizes states to transition beneficiaries from welfare to work
Creates greater transparency in means-tested welfare spending
Saves $2.5 trillion over 10 years