Trump signs executive order pushing work for welfare

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that aims to add and strengthen work requirements for public assistance and other welfare programs.

Posted: Apr 10, 2018 10:23 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that aims to add and strengthen work requirements for public assistance and other welfare programs.

The order, signed in private, promotes “common-sense reforms” that policy adviser Andrew Bremberg said would reduce dependence on government programs.

“Part of President Trump’s effort to create a booming American economy includes moving Americans from welfare to work and supporting and encouraging others to support common-sense reforms that restore American prosperity and help them reclaim their independence,” he said.

The order focuses on looking for ways to strengthen existing work requirements and exploring new requirements for benefits such as food stamps, cash and housing assistance programs.

Trump has long accused beneficiaries of abusing government assistance programs and has claimed many who have no intention of working make more in benefits than those with jobs.

“I know people that work three jobs and they live next to somebody who doesn’t work at all. And the person who is not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better than the person that’s working his and her ass off,” Trump said in November. During the campaign, he pledged that, under a Trump administration, families “trapped in welfare” would be “provided with jobs and opportunity.”

Most people who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, who are able to hold jobs do work, but they don’t earn enough to pay for food and cover other expenses. According to 2015 data from the Department of Agriculture, 44 percent of the total households using the SNAP program had someone in the family earning money.

The administration has made several moves pushing work for Medicaid recipients and those who use the SNAP program.

In January, officials announced that states would be able to impose work requirements for Medicaid. And they’ve proposed tightening the existing requirement that able-bodied adults who want to receive SNAP benefits for more than three months at a time must work in some capacity.

The proposal would raise the age limit for recipients who are exempt from the requirement and restrict the ability of states to offer waivers. The Department of Agriculture has been soliciting public comment on the issue.

The administration has also been exploring more stringent work requirements for those who receive assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, as well as minimum weekly work hours for those who receive housing assistance.

The order gives various Cabinet secretaries 90 days to review the programs their agencies offer, and recommend possible changes.

Advocates argue that, while encouraging people to work is fundamentally a good thing, imposing strict requirements on already vulnerable populations, particularly when coupled with an aggressive effort to slash funding and shrink public assistance programs, could be disastrous for those in need.

Such requirements could have dire consequences for those already experiencing barriers to finding, and keeping, a job, including single mothers who can’t afford child care, people who lack access to transportation and those who suffer from mental illness.

Rebecca Vallas, vice president of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress, said Trump’s executive order served to reinforce myths about poverty in the U.S.

“By using dog-whistle terms like ‘welfare,’ Trump’s trying to paint people who turn to Medicaid, SNAP, and other public programs as Reagan’s mythical ‘welfare queen’ -- so we don’t notice that he’s coming after the entire working and middle class,” Vallas tweeted.

The White House had once identified overhauling the welfare system as one of its top two legislative priorities for 2018, along with a major investment in infrastructure. But GOP leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, told the president there was little chance of passing anything that needs Democrats’ votes.

Trump appeared to agree as he huddled with GOP leaders at the Camp David presidential retreat in January.

“It’s a subject that’s very dear to our heart,” Trump said then. “We’ll try and do something in a bipartisan way. Otherwise, we’ll be holding it for a little bit later.”

___

Associated Press writer Juliet Linderman contributed to this report.

___

Follow Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/colvinj

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 32437

Reported Deaths: 2030
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9371546
Lake3347170
Cass15867
Allen135366
St. Joseph121834
Hendricks113567
Hamilton112391
Johnson1092104
Elkhart107028
Madison58259
Porter49521
Bartholomew48634
Clark47141
LaPorte41523
Tippecanoe3803
Howard37620
Jackson3681
Delaware35936
Hancock32327
Shelby32121
Floyd31539
Boone29335
Morgan27024
Vanderburgh2532
Montgomery23317
White2288
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19521
Noble19221
Harrison18821
Dubois1852
Henry1709
Greene16824
Warrick16528
Dearborn16421
Monroe16211
Vigo1507
Lawrence14623
Miami1391
Putnam1347
Jennings1284
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1136
Franklin1068
Kosciusko971
Carroll932
Daviess8416
Marshall801
Steuben802
Wayne755
Newton7410
Wabash732
Fayette714
Jasper621
LaGrange622
Washington521
Fulton471
Jay460
Randolph453
Rush452
Jefferson421
Whitley412
Clay411
Pulaski400
Owen341
Sullivan331
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke313
Perry260
Wells260
Huntington262
Knox250
Benton250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford202
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke180
Spencer171
Posey160
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0159

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 114306

Reported Deaths: 5083
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook745213455
Lake7845270
DuPage7350347
Kane5947162
Will5279264
Winnebago200152
McHenry147569
St. Clair103573
Kankakee80843
Kendall73619
Rock Island63823
Champaign5807
Madison54457
Boone41016
Sangamon33727
DeKalb3343
Randolph2644
Jackson24210
McLean21513
Out of IL2051
Stephenson1942
Ogle1932
Macon18919
Peoria1888
Clinton17817
Union1437
LaSalle14013
Whiteside13410
Iroquois1314
Coles11912
Warren1130
Unassigned1100
Jefferson10116
Knox940
Monroe9311
Grundy882
McDonough837
Lee761
Tazewell693
Cass680
Henry670
Williamson572
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin431
Perry410
Pulaski410
Montgomery391
Vermilion371
Morgan341
Christian334
Jo Daviess310
Livingston312
Douglas260
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Washington180
Woodford182
Mason170
Menard170
Mercer160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Hancock150
Carroll142
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Crawford110
Fulton110
Bond101
Brown100
Clark100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
Terre Haute
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Robinson
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Rockville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
Casey
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
Brazil
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Marshall
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Cold Front Approaching
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events