The Republican is targeting food and housing benefits for the unemployed at a time when the country is still feeling the brunt of the COVID-19 economy.
Sen. Rick Scott is sponsoring a bill that, if it becomes law, would return Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to their pre-pandemic levels.
According to the Naples, Florida Republican, who is also the wealthiest individual in the US Senate, the new legislation would “encourage Americans who are able to work to return to the workforce by ending the current suspension of work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was put in in place during the pandemic, and expanding these requirements to apply to all able-bodied adults receiving benefits who are under 60-years-old and do not have children under the age of six or care for incapacitated individuals.”
The same conditions would apply to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Public Housing and Tenant-Based Rental Assistance programs.
The bill, says Scott, is not a reduction of benefits, because those who are actively seeking employment would remain eligible.
It would also expand grace periods “from 3 months in a 3-year window to 6 months in a 3-year period to account for the added complexities in these households,” and “addresses the marriage penalty for married couples with children, only requiring one to work for the household to remain eligible for benefits.”
Those Hardest Hit
But according to Democrats, if approved, this bill would hit households when the COVID economy is still being felt across the board, from through-the-roof gas and food costs, to record-high housing and utility prices.
However, Scott’s legislation is unlikely to become law in Democrat-controlled Washington.