Rep. Burlison’s bills would reduce food stamps, stop automatic union due withdrawals

Workforce reforms are the latest focus of new legislation from U.S. Rep. Eric Burlison.

One Burlison’s bills, the Ending the Cycle of Dependency Act, seeks to limit able-bodied enrollees of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program from receiving benefits for more than 5 years.

It would also expand work requirements for parents with children over the age of 6 receiving food stamps and raise the age limit exception for benefit eligibility to 65. However, geographic waivers that sometimes allow exemption from work requirements would be eliminated.

“Temporary government assistance programs are supposed to be just that, temporary,” Burlison said. “Yet, millions of able-bodied Americans are receiving billions in government assistance at the expense of taxpayers and our national debt. It’s time to end the cycle of dependency.”

Burlison’s bill is half of the overall “America Works” welfare reform package. The second component comes from Rep. Josh Brecheen, R-O.K., with his Thrifty Food Plan Accountability Act.

This bill would eliminate an increase to the Thrifty Food Plan initiated by the Biden administration. This plan is one of four USDA food plans that estimates the cost of cooking healthy at home meals for a family of four, then uses those figures to calculate food stamp benefit eligibility.

In 2021, Biden announced the first substantial increase to this plan in 45 years, increasing the purchasing power of the Thrifty Food Plan and expanding SNAP benefits. Brecheen’s bill would eliminate that increase and require future plan re-evaluations to be cost-neutral.

“Under President Biden, food stamp spending has increased by more than 27% in just two years—the largest increase in the program’s history,” Breechen said. “This increase in spending was not done by an act of Congress, but instead by unelected bureaucrats willfully usurping Congress’ power of the purse.”

More: Inspired by SPS dispute, Burlison adds access to teacher training materials to legislation

Another bill sponsored by Burlison seeks to end automatic deductions of union dues from the paychecks of federal workers. The Paycheck Protection Act would require labor unions to collect due payments directly from members.

“The government should not be in the business of giving preferential treatment to labor unions,” Burlison said. “Whether or not a worker chooses to join a union and pay dues is up to them.”

Under the new legislation, workers would be given the chance to elect if they want to participate in the union. Without automatic withdrawals, workers will also know the exact cost of their union dues.

The Paycheck Protection Act is cosponsored by Reps. Bob Good, R-V.A., Mary Miller, R-I.L. Glenn Grothman, R-W.I., Andy Ogles, R-T.N., and Tom Tiffany, R-W.I.

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Eric Burlison welfare reform SNAP food stamps Josh Brecheen

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