Senator Mike Lee recently introduced a bill to address the 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. The “Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act” would get existing federal welfare programs under control and would help the working poor transition from poverty to opportunity and security.
Poverty is not just the absence of money, but also the absence of opportunity. 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.
How it Works
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
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