Credo Action

Stop heartless Republican policies restricting food stamps for the hungry

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Petition to Congress:

"Do not restrict help for the hungry, and those experiencing poverty, by allowing states to impose ineffective and cumbersome drug tests on Americans who need food assistance."

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    Stop heartless Republican policies restricting food stamps for the hungry

    With extreme right-wing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leading the charge, Republicans are determined to make it harder for hungry Americans to get the help they need.1

    Walker and 11 other Republican governors have written to Congress demanding permission to impose drug tests on Americans seeking food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Republicans in Congress have been pushing to give states license to add more cumbersome hoops for people in crisis to jump through.2

    Imposing drug tests doesn’t help those struggling with substance abuse and doesn’t save money. States that have tried it spent millions of dollars, with little results.3 It is merely the latest Republican attempt to build barriers between those experiencing poverty and badly needed help, and we need to speak out against it.

    Tell Congress: Stop heartless Republican policies restricting food stamps for the hungry.

    Under Republican leadership, multiple states have spent millions on drug testing regimes – but some states uncovered zero positive tests. In all but one state, the positive test rate was below 1 percent. The expensive testing yielded only a few dozen or hundred people. Despite Republican insistence that testing is “common sense,” these policies cost big bucks and simply don’t work.4

    Already, some public assistance programs help only about a quarter of the families eligible. The states that have tried drug testing deny far more people for not taking the test than for failing it. Even someone with zero history of substance use could end up discouraged by a cumbersome extra hurdle between them and desperately needed help. All these tests do is impose one more roadblock to families that are already in crisis.5

    Right now, states can only impose these ineffective testing policies on recipients of cash grants under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), not SNAP food stamps. Federal law prohibits drug testing of those seeking food aid. But conservatives in Congress want to change that, and right-wing governors like Scott Walker are joining the chorus.6 Imposing testing regimes that don’t work to block people from getting food is cruel and heartless, and we can’t let it happen.

    Tell Congress: Stop heartless Republican policies restricting food stamps for the hungry.

    Republicans paint a pretty picture of how they are really out to help those suffering from addiction, but the reality is that many assistance programs already identify those struggling with substance abuse and have ways to help. Drug tests just make it harder for those without problems to get the help they need.7

    Mandatory drug testing is expensive and doesn’t help those who really need it. It’s just another Republican plot to deny Americans help paying for food, and we can’t let them succeed.

    Tell Congress: Stop heartless Republican policies restricting food stamps for the hungry.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. Aaron Rupar, “Scott Walker Asks Congress For Permission To Conduct ‘Common-Sense Reform’ Shown Useless 7 Times,” Think Progress, April 13, 2016.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Bryce Covert and Josh Israel,” Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Is A Popular New Policy That Cost States Millions. Here Are The Results.,” Think Progress, February 19, 2016.
    5. Ibid.
    6. Rupar, “Scott Walker Asks Congress For Permission To Conduct ‘Common-Sense Reform’ Shown Useless 7 Times.”
    7. Bryce Covert and Josh Israel,” Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Is A Popular New Policy That Cost States Millions. Here Are The Results..”