The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act

February 12, 2014

The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act addresses deep problems in the federal government’s welfare programs that make it more difficult for low-income Americans to work their way into the middle class and stay there.  This bill would get existing federal welfare programs under control and would help the working poor transition from poverty to opportunity and security.

How it works:
  • Strengthens work requirements for all able bodied, work-capable adults receiving SNAP benefits.
    • 36 hours per month for individuals without dependents;
    • 72 hours per month 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 by 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