Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Frank Lucas released the following statement after Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law HB 1909. It is a measure that prevents the Oklahoma Department of Human Services from requesting a waiver of work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are fully funded by the federal government, but the program is administered by the states. As such, states that have the resources to provide job training, or believe sufficient jobs are available can require able-bodied SNAP recipients without dependents to work for their benefits. Or, states can seek to waive the work requirements. Congress provides states $400 million per year to operate employment and training programs targeting specific needs of the low-income SNAP population.
"I commend my home state of Oklahoma in leading the charge to return SNAP beneficiaries to work by no longer seeking to waive the work requirements in SNAP law. I hope other states will follow their lead.
"During the last Congress, the House Agriculture Committee advanced the first serious reform to SNAP law since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. The Committee's common-sense reforms keep states accountable for administering the SNAP program by demanding outcomes from states' employment and training programs, enforcing asset and income tests, and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.
"It is in our best interest to both find ways to get Americans back to work and to improve the efficiency and accountability of the SNAP program. As we move forward to pass a farm bill this year, I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance thoughtful reforms," said Chairman Frank Lucas.