‘A pathway out of poverty’, said Rep. Dusty Johnson

“America Works Act” of 2023 by South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson would see the expansion of work requirements for SNAP
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:41 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The introduction of the “America Works Act” of 2023 on Tuesday by South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson would see the expansion of work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This federal bill would expand the age limit of the work requirement from 18 to 49 to 65. It would also require able-bodied adults without dependents to work or participate in work-related training or programs for at least 20 hours every week.

The reason for the introduction of the bill is to get about 1.5 million able-bodied young adults without dependents back into the workforce. The proposed legislation would remove a state’s ability to request a work requirement waiver from the Department of Agriculture if that state lacks jobs to hire enrollees. With that in mind, if a state has a 10% or greater unemployment, the bill would not affect the work requirement waiver requests.

“If the bill passes, We’re going to get those young people without dependents off the sidelines and back into the workplace, it’s going to make our economy run more smoothly but even more importantly it’s going to give them a pathway out of poverty,” said South Dakota representative Dusty Johnson.

According to Johnson, on the individual level, the bill will not affect those who are pregnant, have a disability, live in a place with high employment, have young children, and are senior citizens.

The bill has 23 co-sponsors in the house which are all Republican. These are the states that have representatives co-sponsoring the bill:

  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Colorado
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Oklahoma
  • Iowa
  • Virginia
  • Missouri
  • Wisconsin
  • Michigan
  • Florida
  • Montana
  • Tennessee

According to the Congressional Budget Office, SNAP serves more than 40 million individuals and is projected to cost around $127 billion in 2023 alone.