Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan today chaired a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing on inefficiencies in the federal government’s 77 means-tested welfare programs.
“This hearing confirmed what many of us already know, that spending more federal money and creating more federal welfare programs has done little to address poverty in America,” said Chairman Jordan. “With billions of dollars in duplication, overlap and inefficiency in the federal welfare system, taxpayers are right to demand that we act swiftly to better protect their money.”
Though federal welfare spending has almost doubled in the past fifteen years, poverty rates are higher today than they were in the 1970s. According to testimony from hearing witness Robert Rector, American taxpayers will spend $940 billion means-tested federal welfare programs this year at the state and federal levels, more than will be spent on the entire national defense budget.
Jordan has introduced H.R. 1167, the Welfare Reform Act of 2011, to help reform and streamline the federal welfare system and help those in the system achieve self-reliance.
Key Points on the Welfare Reform Act of 2011
- Building on the Success of 1996 – Reforms similar to those adopted in 1996 would help food stamp recipients become self-reliant by requiring able-bodied adult beneficiaries to work or prepare for a job.
- Disclosure of National Welfare Spending – To provide taxpayers a clearer picture of the money they spend on means-tested welfare at all levels of government, each year the President’s budget would report figures for total federal, state, and local welfare spending over the ensuing decade.
- Return to Pre-Recession Budget – In the first budget written after unemployment falls to 6.5% or lower, overall federal spending on means-tested welfare would return to its 2007-level (adjusted for inflation) and be allowed to grow with inflation.