Faso pressing for SNAP work requirement
Dan Freedman is reporting for the Times Union U.S. Rep. John Faso is leading the effort by House Republicans to strengthen the work requirement for American citizens receiving food stamps. Currently, 44 million people receive food stamps nationwide, including 2.8 million New Yorkers, many living in impoverished upstate rural communities. The Kinderhook Republican said he believes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is “an essential program for many families,” but he insists the recipients of the federal nutrition program should be working and they are not. “The best path to economic independence is a job,” Faso said in an interview. “This isn’t rocket science.” According to USDA data, 10.2 percent of those in the 19th Congressional District receives SNAP, compared to 15 percent statewide and 12.7 percent nationwide. Among SNAP families, 31.9 percent had no workers, 40.5 percent had one worker and 27.6 percent had two workers. Faso is a member of the House Agriculture Committee, which is considering SNAP provisions as part of broader deliberation on the Farm Bill. Democrats including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, denounce the GOP job requirement. The GOP House plan “is only going to increase hunger in our communities” and “could kick millions of households off of the program,” Gillibrand said on a conference call with reporters April 17. “I believe no New Yorker, no American, should ever have to suffer from hunger — especially a child.” Under the Faso-backed measure, anyone receiving benefits between the ages of 18 and 59 without children under 6 would be required to work or be in job training (or a combination) for 20 hours a week. The GOP approach also would intensify the punishment for those who fail to abide by the work requirements. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.