Trump signs order calling for work requirements in welfare programs
President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order calling for federal agencies to establish or strengthen existing work requirements for certain individuals who benefit from federal welfare programs.
The White House issued a memo that argued those who rely on welfare would have an easier time achieving economic mobility through strengthened work requirements where they already exist, and the creation of new ones where applicable.
“The Federal Government should do everything within its authority to empower individuals by providing opportunities for work, including by investing in Federal programs that are effective at moving people into the workforce and out of poverty,” the executive order states.
The new requirements would apply to those who are able to work, according to the memo.
The order does not detail which specific programs will be subject to such requirements.
Instead, Trump’s executive order calls on the heads of the departments of Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation and Education to review public assistance programs within their agencies.
Those department heads are expected to submit a report within 90 days with a list of recommended changes to achieve Trump’s goals, according to the executive order.
The order also says the federal government will streamline services, review existing services and consolidate or eliminate programs that are ineffective or overlap in services.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families embraced the executive order and said it will allow the agency to take “aggressive action” toward enforcing work requirements.
“Strengthening work requirements for welfare recipients is a critical element of moving welfare recipients from dependency to self-sufficiency,” Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary for the organization, said in a statement.
Some GOP lawmakers have advocated for stronger work requirements to eliminate a perceived dependence on welfare.
The Trump administration last month approved Arkansas’s request to impose work requirements on certain Medicaid beneficiaries.