Sen. Hatch wants unemployed to face mandatory drug tests

Welfare and unemployment beneficiaries would have to pass a drug test to qualify for programs under an amendment offered Tuesday by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). 


Hatch introduced an amendment to the tax extenders bill that would require those who are applying for some of the benefits in that bill, including unemployment and welfare benefits, to pass a drug test in exchange for the benefits.

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"Drugs are a scourge on our society — hurting children, families and communities alike," Hatch said in a statement. "This amendment is a way to help people get off of drugs to become productive and healthy members of society, while ensuring that valuable taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted.”

Under the Hatch amendment, individuals who fail to qualify for benefits because they failed a drug test wouldn't necessarily be jailed, but would be enrolled in a state or federal drug treatment program.