Rick Scott Fails After Anti-Poor Economic Plan Stalls Out In U.S. Senate

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Around deliberations recently held in the Senate on a bill to raise the nation’s debt limit as needed for dealing with expenses to which the federal government was already obliged, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) unveiled a proposed amendment that would have instituted new work requirements on low-income people receiving federal assistance with housing. The proposal did not move forward.

Work requirements for federal benefit programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, became a key sticking point during negotiations ahead of the formulation of that debt limit bill. The final agreement included a slight expansion of the age range in which able-bodied adults without dependents must generally work, but also included were new exemptions for individuals who are veterans or homeless. Left out were new work requirements sought by Republicans for those who receive help under Medicaid, which covers costs in health care. Scott’s proposed work requirements for those getting housing assistance would have covered all families living in public housing and what’s termed tenant-based assistance, which is government help with obtaining housing outside the public housing system.

In any new imposition of work demands for those getting government help, there is often going to be a danger of pushing people who need the assistance out of the program, whatever it may be.

Another Republican amendment that didn’t move forward was from Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who wanted to add soda to the list of items those getting SNAP benefits can’t use the money to purchase. And elsewhere, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wanted to approve a framework for new tariffs on articles imported from China in the event that the value of such imports is more than the value of articles exported from the United States to that country. Americans generally pay import taxes, so Hawley’s idea for potentially 25 percent hikes in price on targeted goods would have hit Americans.