Johnson Leads Work Requirements Fight in the U.S. House

 Johnson Leads Work Requirements Fight in the U.S. House

The America Works Act closes loophole states have used to ignore existing work requirements

 Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced the America Works Act, a bill to reform work requirements for able-bodied Americans receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Current federal law requires Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) younger than 49 years old on SNAP to participate in work, training, or education for 20 hours a week.

Currently, 18 states utilize waivers to exempt individuals from work requirements. Unfortunately, many states abuse these waivers and ignore work requirements for ABAWDs. Johnson’s bill would close the loophole allowing those waivers. According to data prior to the pandemic, 1.36 million ABAWD households reported zero dollars in gross income – meaning they did not work at all.

“Work is the best pathway out of poverty,” said Johnson. “Work requirements have proven to be effective, andpeople who can work should work. With more than 11 million open jobs, there are plenty of opportunities for SNAP recipients to escape poverty and build a better life.”

The America Works Act of 2023:

  • Emphasizes and amends work requirements for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) requiring childless adults, unless exempted, to work or participate in work-related training or education, for at least 20 hours per week in order to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
    • This bill maintains current law which states that ABAWDs are subject to a three-month limit of SNAP benefits unless they work 80 hours per month.
  • Raises the age limits of an ABAWD from 18 to 49 to 18 to 65, consistent with the age individuals become eligible for Medicare.
    • Employment projections from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics show that individuals over the age of 55 are projected to assume over 25% of the workforce in 2022.
  • The America Works Act of 2023 eliminates states’ ability to carry over exemption waivers from year to year, reducing instances of stockpiling and hampering abuses of the law.
    • States are currently allowed robust flexibility in managing their SNAP population, with 12% of state caseloads eligible for exemptions from the work requirements.  Johnson’s bill maintains that flexibility, but doesn’t allow states to carry over exemptions year after year.

Reps. Chuck Edwards (NC-11), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Jake Ellzey (TX-06), Mary Miller (IL-15), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), August Pfluger (TX-11), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05), Josh Brecheen (OK-02), Jen Kiggans (VA-02), Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Troy Nehls (TX-22), Ryan Zinke (MT-01), Mark Alford (MO-04), Andy Ogles (TN-05), Max Miller (OH-07), Pat Fallon (TX-04), Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Randy Weber (TX-14), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Tim Walberg (MI-05), Richard Hudson (NC-09), Scott Franklin (FL-18), and Michael Cloud (TX-27) are original cosponsors of the America Works Act.

Read the bill text here.


18 thoughts on “Johnson Leads Work Requirements Fight in the U.S. House”

  1. I would like a bill that requires congress to be in session 220 days. They presently are in session less than 150 days. They need to be in Washington and have everything go thru the committee process

  2. It seems a little out of balance.

    We have a multi-billionaire who has his own private jet. He lives in multiple country clubs. And owns a huge Manhattan penthouse suite. Golfs day after day. This guy pays less in income taxes than you or I do. Year after year.

    And he is not the only one. But we don’t look into that. We look the other way. Instead, we focus on the poor folks getting food stamps. We’ve got to tighten that program up! That is the priority? Really?

    Here’s the truth. America’s biggest freeloaders are wearing expensive suits.

    1. “This guy pays less in income taxes than you or I do. Year after year.”

      Got the numbers? Show the numbers IF you have them.

      1. NYTimes Sept. 27, 2020

        “Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.

        He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

        As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses.”

        Yes… a $72.9 million dollar REFUND. I believe that he also paid zero in taxes in 2020.

        How would you NOT know this?


          “In 2015, when Trump began campaigning for president, he paid $641,931 in federal income taxes. “He went on to pay $750 in 2016 and 2017, nearly $1 million in 2018, $133,445 in 2019 and nothing in 2020,” per AP.”

          In your own words it sounds like he was losing money so why wouldn’t he elect to take the LEGAL tax break? Is this something that other wealthy individuals don’t do, or is this something that only the “evil” President Trump does?

          1. This guy pays less in income taxes than you or I do. Year after year.

            So, I am right. Ten of fifteen years! Then again in 16, 17 & 20. And then there is that enormous refund.

            But he lives like a king every year.

            I didn’t say he never paid taxes. I didn’t say it was illegal either. It’s just wrong to force everyday Americans to pay ten, twenty or twenty-five percent when he gets away with this.

            1. Sounds like you got yourself a terminal case of Trump Envy. You would do the same exact thing if you were in his position.

          2. I didn’t say Trump was “evil” either. I believe that might have been Tucker Carlson who was exposed in recent court documents. He texted this after January 6th… “He’s a demonic force, a destroyer.”

  3. Does this mean newspaper and media employees including journalists qualify for this since their compensation packages are terrible?

  4. So who will take care of the children when parent(s) have to go to work? What happens if they don’t have the skills necessary for a certain job? Just asking.

    1. “Able Bodied Working Adults without Dependents” means they don’t have children. Additionally, it says “work or work related training or education” so someone could learn a skill.

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