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A Strong Majority of Americans Support Workforce Requirements

A new Axios-Ipsos poll found that the overwhelming majority of Americans support House Republicans' workforce requirements for able-bodied individuals. 
According to the poll: 
Overall, 63% strongly or somewhat support requiring Medicaid or SNAP recipients to show proof of work to receive benefits. 66% of independents and 49% of Democrats back the policy change, along with 80% of Republicans.”
This poll comes just days after Speaker McCarthy said that President Biden’s view on work requirements is wrongNEVER FORGET: Biden himself has a long history of advocating for and voting for workforce requirements throughout the years. 

  • There is a workforce crisis in America that is fueling inflation, with nearly 10 million open jobs nationwide.
  • Due to work requirements, 60 percent who have left welfare are working, employment rates among single mothers have increased dramatically, and child poverty has declined.
  • An estimated 40 million able-bodied adults are enrolled in Medicaid. 
  • Work requirements help preserve taxpayer-funded resources for the truly needy.
  • These policies have led to millions of able-bodied adults getting off welfare and going back to work.
  • Work requirements are the most effective tools in lifting individuals out of dependency and into self-sufficiency, and improving lives.
  • Work helps end the cycle of dependency for children growing up in families on welfare.
  • This provision would add new workers to the workforce who would pay payroll taxes that support Social Security and Medicare, preserving those programs for future generations.
  • In states with work requirements, adults had their incomes more than double after leaving welfare.
  • Work requirements will apply to able-bodied adults without dependents.

  • Coming out of the Great Recession, states like Wisconsin and Indiana chose to not seek waivers for work requirements for food stamps, while Iowa became ineligible for a waiver and Missouri’s legislature adopted a similar measure by rejecting a governor’s veto. These reforms added to the labor force since the Great Recession: 15,324 people reentered the workforce in Iowa, 28,786 in Wisconsin, 29,885 in Missouri, and 32,623 in Indiana. This led to an overall increase in labor force participation in those states of 0.62% and a decline in unemployment of 0.53%.
  • Wisconsin’s reforms in particular made substantial progress in limiting enrollment in food stamps programs. After the reforms Governor Walker put in place in the 2013-2015 budget cycle, total enrollment in their FoodShare program declined 36% from 2015-2016 to 2017-2018, and enrollment for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) declined 68% from 18,638 in 2015-2016 to 5,932 in 2017-2018. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that overall employment and the employment-population ratio increased from 2012 to 2018, as did their labor force, while the unemployment rate steadily declined.
  • In Maine, former Governor Paul LePage instituted work requirements for ABAWDs for food stamps that took effect in 2015. These work requirements “resulted in a doubling of average incomes in a single year for those affected by the change.” BLS data for Maine shows that from 2015 to 2019, when Governor LePage left office, employment and the overall labor force increased, while overall unemployment and the unemployment rate declined.