Democratic governors urges Congress not to expand labor requirements for social programs

The group of Democratic governors urges Congress not to expand labor requirements for social programs.

A group of 10 Democratic governors is pressing federal lawmakers to drop provisions in a Republican debt limit bill that would expand labor requirements for several social safety net programs.

"While congressional leaders have made it clear that Medicare and Social Security will not face cuts, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, and discretionary spending — the de facto lifeline for millions of Americans nationwide — are the letter," the letter said. They were addressed to bipartisan congressional leaders in both houses.

Democratic Governors Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Colorado Gov. Jared Polis Gov. Delaware John Carney Gov. Hawaii Josh Green Gov. Illinois JB Pritzker Gov. Maryland Wes Moore Gov. Minnesota Tim Walz Gov. New Mexico Michelle Logan and Grisham, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers all signed the letter.

The pressure comes from state leaders after Republicans proposed legislation that would raise the debt ceiling and cut federal spending. The proposal includes changes to federal programs like SNAP and Medicaid, which opponents of the bill argue would cut benefits for millions of Americans in need.

The expanded requirements mean that people aged 18 to 56 must participate in at least 20 hours of weekly job training to get SNAP benefits for more than three months.

The Biden administration has opposed the proposed changes. The Agriculture Department said Wednesday that the proposed legislation would affect about 1 million people who get SNAP benefits and tens of thousands who get rental assistance through the department.

"We are united in our opposition to expanded work and job reporting requirements on any essential safety net program...we urge you to work in a bipartisan fashion to find a solution that preserves funding for critical programs that benefit all of our constituents," the Conservatives said in the letter.

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