Congressman Jason Smith
Encouraging Work Over Welfare
The original purpose of welfare was to help those who are in the midst of a rough patch get back on their feet. However, the Left has over time tried to turn it into something else: a lifelong entitlement. Through this distortion, welfare has trapped people in a vicious cycle of dependency instead of empowering them to get back into the workforce. This is holding back countless able-bodied men and women from reaching their full potential and achieving the American Dream.
Workforce participation has steadily declined. In fact, there is one less worker today for every 16 people in the workforce compared to the start of the century. In the same period, the number of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients has increased from 17 million to 36 million people. This trending has continued even as the economy experiences record growth: this November alone 266,000 jobs were created. This is why I fought to include legislation in last year’s Farm Bill requiring work requirements for able-bodied SNAP recipients. With employment at record lows across the board, expanding workforce participation will spread out the benefits of the economy and bring new opportunities to people who have been out of work.
Thankfully, we have a President who agrees. On December 4th, President Trump ordered the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to include updated work requirements for able-bodied individuals receiving SNAP benefits. The Trump Administration knows that our SNAP program should be structured to work with our changing economy, not be stuck in the past. That is why he is working to restore the original intent of SNAP — one that provides a safety net for those in need but also encourages accountability and self-sufficiency.
Unlike the Liberals in Washington who ran on a platform of deceit, President Trump and I both ran for office to solve problems, fight for our values, and break the mold. Requiring able-bodied individuals who are receiving government benefits to look for work is just the latest example of the countless accomplishments of the Trump Administration. President Trump has consistently fought for expanded market access for our farmers, but Speaker Pelosi has only dragged her feet on doing anything besides impeachment. Meanwhile, I have worked with the President and his administration on legislation to decrease tax burdens for families, roll back burdensome regulations, and fight to preserve the dignity of rural America. Yet at every turn, the Left has undermined any attempt to help the American people.
While Democrats continue to grasp at straws in their desperate quest to topple the President, I am holding strong and continuing to support President Trump. Just this week, Speaker Pelosi made the unsurprising announcement that her majority would be writing up Articles of Impeachment against President Trump. This means we are increasingly headed towards an impeachment trial in the Senate, where Senators who are actively running against Donald Trump for President of the United States would serve as jurors on the case. That is completely unacceptable and that’s why I introduced legislation calling for those Senators to recuse themselves from the impeachment trial. It’s unethical to abuse their power and vote to remove their political opponent from office. These Senators know that, and they should have the decency to do this on their own.
Despite another week in Congress with the Left paralyzed by the hatred of the President, Donald Trump has shaken it off and keeps fighting so that more American families can live their version of the American Dream.