Delivers remarks on Senate floor urging colleagues to support Cruz-Lee amendment to remove state SNAP waivers, bolster work requirements
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor regarding his and Sens. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) and John Kennedy’s (R-La.) amendment to remove state SNAP waivers, strengthen work requirements, and eliminate the treatment of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) as a separate population from other work-capable adults.
“Mr. President, I’m proud to join with Senator Kennedy and Senator Lee in offering this amendment. The Farm Bill has many good and important elements in it that benefit our farmers and ranchers who are a critical part of our economy in my home state of Texas and all across this country.
“A major portion of the bill is of course the food stamps program. The food stamps program provides important support to people who are in need. But at the same time we should not be trapping people in dependency.
“The amendment that I’ve joined with Senator Kennedy and Senator Lee in offering strengthens the work requirements for food stamps for able-bodied adults. Right now, more than a third of the country lives in areas with no work requirements. Thirty-three states have some kind of waivers on the work requirements. Twenty-eight states have partial waivers and five states and the District of Columbia have total waivers on work requirements. That’s not right and it’s led to a troubling development.
“In recent years a rapidly growing group of food stamp recipients have been able-bodied adults [in prime working ages] and have no dependents or children to support. This population has quintupled, rising from one million recipients in 2008 to about five million recipients in 2015.
“As a Senate, this should be a bipartisan proposal. We should come together to include work requirements to get people on food stamps back in the workplace, providing for their families, and I urge our colleagues to support this amendment.”