On Thursday, House Agriculture Committee member Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, gave an impassioned speech on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of tying work requirements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In his remarks, Arrington made the case that work has dignity and that it is not compassionate to leave poor Americans dependent on government programs without responsibility and without concern for working taxpayers.
“We are long overdue for reforms in this country,” Arrington said. “We are long overdue to have policies in place that encourage work. We want people to have the blessing and dignity of work. We want people to fulfill their God-given potential. We want them to contribute to society.”
Arrington criticized his Democratic colleagues for demonizing Republican calls for work requirements.
“This is unbelievable in the United States of America. We’re asking that if you receive assistance from hard-working, taxpaying Americans, that you would just work 20 hours a week or volunteer or be trained to work. That’s all we’re asking.”
He stressed that welfare work requirements are popular.
“I’ve seen the polls. Over 80 percent of the people in this country say more people need to work and pay taxes and contribute to this great country. I believe in a safety net. I believe in compassion. I believe that’s the heart of God and I think it should be reflected in our policies. But God also expects personal responsibility, and he expects us to have responsible policies that pull people up and out of a cycle of dependency and poverty.”
Arrington opposes leaving people dependent on the government dole. “That’s not compassion. That’s not decency. And that’s not common sense.”
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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