Sen. Rick Scott wants to go back to pre-pandemic rules for food assistance eligibility, saying they will motivate people to return to the workforce, but critics say his proposal could hurt families in need.
Scott’s proposed Let’s Get to Work Act of 2022 would impact those who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It would end the current work requirements for SNAP introduced in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and would also make changes to the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.
“They wanna take good, hardworking Americans and make them dependent on government, they wanna make Americans spend more time looking at if there’s a new government program rather than focus on finding a new job,” Scott said. “Able-bodied Americans ought to be part of the capitalist system, be part of having skin in the game, pay the taxes—when you have a job you pay the income taxes and payroll taxes, when you buy things you pay sales taxes, when you buy a house you pay property taxes. We’ve got to get this country back to work.”
But while Scott says his plan is all about getting people to work, critics say SNAP benefits are crucial for many Floridians and are helping to put food on the table for many families right now.
“SNAP is basically a resource for our families, and we need to understand that a lot of the benefits that are there affect our children,” said Kim Johnson, CEO of Florida Impact to End Hunger. “[Scott] has a right to do whatever he wants to do, but my job, as the CEO of Florida Impact, is to really get everyone to understand that SNAP is a benefit and it helps. It helps keep people out of poverty.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 6 million Americans are currently unemployed.