La. congressman seeks to reform SNAP program with new bill

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves wants to change the nation's food stamps as a way of encouraging more people on the program to find a job.

Graves, (R) District 6, says there's too many able-bodied citizens on the SNAP program who are not looking for work.

Graves introduced a bill this week called the SNAP Reform Act, which would expand the job search and training opportunities, and reduce the number of people exempt from a work requirement.

"Hard times invariably come and when they do, Americans deserve to have peace of mind knowing that there are systems in place to help them get back on their feet – that won't be the case if the government keeps spending the way it does now," he said. "We have to do a better job protecting resources for those truly in need by helping those down on their luck find new opportunities to earn a living."

This does not apply to people with children.

"I've heard people say, well gosh, what am I going to do with my kids," he said. "Well, if you have kids, if you have dependents, this bill does not affect you. This is designed to target able-bodied folks that do not have dependent children. So it's a smaller slice of the population."

Specifically, the bill contains the following provisions:

  • Creates additional opportunities to satisfy the work requirement through a supervised job search.
  • Reduces the number of SNAP recipients exempt from the work requirement.
  • Retains state flexibility for exempting certain individuals from the work requirement.

Right now Graves is looking for other members of congress to co-sponsor the bill, and then bring the bill to a house vote as soon as possible.

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