Dec 6, 2018, 2:29 PM ET

Rep. Jim Jordan blasts Democrats over food assistance program


Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan attacked Democrats over the new bipartisan Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program deal, days after his party announced that they intend to drop work requirements on the new five-year bill.

Jordan, co-leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, took to Twitter to vent about the missing work requirement for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP recipients.

“More Americans on Food Stamps than the entire population of Canada. Yet Democrats won’t support work requirements for able-bodied adults receiving your tax dollars.”

House Republicans and Democrats had been locked in a months-long standoff over work requirements for SNAP recipients, that ended last week when lawmakers on both sides of the aisle announced they’d reached a deal which didn’t include the Republican-backed work requirement.

PHOTO: Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, arrives on Capitol Hill, June 27, 2018.J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, arrives on Capitol Hill, June 27, 2018.

Jordan's tweet on the scope of SNAP took aim at Canada’s population of 36 million people, which is less than the 42 million Americans that receive SNAP, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Currently, the USDA stipulates that Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents are individuals between the ages of 18 and 49. According to USDA guidelines they can only receive SNAP benefits for “3 months in 3 years if they do not meet certain special work requirements.”

PHOTO: Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, arrives on Capitol Hill, June 27, 2018.J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, arrives on Capitol Hill, June 27, 2018.

After that, they must work 80 hours a month, do unpaid work through special state-approved workfare programs or participate in full-time education or training activities. Although at 36 states have waved at least some part of the 20 hours a week work requirement.

In Ohio, Jordan’s home state, 13 percent of the population receives SNAP benefits. That number mirrors the national average.

PHOTO: Supporters listen as Rep. Donald McEachin holds a news conference with faith leaders to urge lawmakers to reject proposed cuts to the SupSarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
Supporters listen as Rep. Donald McEachin holds a news conference with faith leaders to "urge lawmakers to reject proposed cuts to the Sup

In 2017, Jordan alongside Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced legislation in the House and Senate to reform SNAP’s work requirements. Claiming SNAP for millions of American had “become a permanent way of life. Instead of giving impoverished families and individuals a helping hand, the current welfare system penalizes positive steps toward self-sufficiency.”

However, according to the Department of Agriculture, 43 percent of Americans receiving SNAP benefits live in a household with earnings.

ABC News' Anne Flaherty contributed to this report.

News - Rep. Jim Jordan blasts Democrats over food assistance program

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  • Bess

    One thing Jordan needs to check on is the number of military families on SNAP benefits. How is it someone can be in service to our country but their family still needs food stamps. That is what he and the others who wail about SNAP recipients need to resolve.

  • 40acre

    My neighbor is on Social Security and gets snap benefits....a whopping $15 per month...but he is one of those evil 42 million that Republicans complain about being on SNAP. I wonder how many of them are in a similar situation.

  • Mike

    Maybe the congressman can help stop the billions in farm subsidies that help his state farmers sell their products to the Canadians . HOW ABOUT THAT WELFARE?

  • Thomas

    Can't the poor just switch to cake? -- asks the GOP?

  • Band, On the Run

    "House Freedom Caucus"


  • helios

    Many food stamp recipients do work. Take Walmart for example - huge corporation worth billions and they don't pay enough to live on. So many jobs here that don't have benefits, insurance, sick pay etc.

  • larryroth702

    Those who commented against benefits should find out what the income requirement is to receive benefits in their state. Your smug opinions would be no longer. I live in Nevada and based on the income requirement you have to almost be starving and probably share a room to keep the rent expense down to qualify.

  • Gustav Dahl

    Unfortunately we do have people in the country with very low intelligence, poor education, no useful work training and suffer difficultiy in following simple instructions. So the only humane thing is to put them on welfare and check in on them from time to time, particularly if they have children. If only one tenth of one percent fell in the catagory we would have a few hundred thousands needing perpetual public support.

  • SarcasTex

    The GOP can give tax breaks to the top 1%, but they aren't willing to do anything for the unemployed.

  • TerminalSanity

    Tell you what Jordan, you mandate that corporations have to increase their workforce/payroll every year in order to qualify tax breaks and subsidies every year then I'll go along with this SNAP work requirement demand of yours. Until then you can stuff it.

  • Tony Radcliffe-Hung

    I agree with some other posters here that we need to look at requiring congress to work to be paid. Too much disfunction, not enough compromise and way too much time off.

    We're watching, Congress. We ain't liking what we're seeing.

  • helios

    The majority of SNAP recipients are white - don't take my word for it, look it up. The largest beneficiaries are children, what a rotten group.

  • Starderup

    This Jordan creep helped cover up sexual abuse at Ohio State for years. The GOP depends upon people's short memories. Some of us are going to be here to remind the rest. Loser.

  • Anthony

    There should be a work requirement for people in Congress. They need to do actual legislative work before they get paid. Tax cuts for the rich and cutting aids to the poor don't count.

  • disqus_pSTgnRenk7

    They already passed this measure in Michigan

  • RichardOwens

    Erecting barriers to helping our poor and working families is a Republican action that I hope will dispel forever the idea that Republicans are good stewards of our resources.

    Many people alive today can remember when they needed a hand and got it from their government.

    A White man making $174,000 a year plus benefits is the LAST one I'd listen to about judging the worthiness of down-and-out families.

    Jordan should know how cruel and sick his stinginess is- after all he asks NOTHING of the wealthy when he votes to cut their taxes AGAIN and AGAIN.

  • pksk531

    So this is all a bunch of garbage meant to fire up the base - there are already work requirements. I just wonder what is going on with the investigation into the Ohio State wrestling team sex abuse scandal and JORDAN being accused of knowing, but doing nothing.

  • cephalo

    If you want people to work, pay them what the work is worth. Forcing people to work by threat of starvation severely undercuts the value of labor in favor of entrenched interests. "Hard work" is a virtue only when it serves your interests; when it destroys you by eating up your life for no gain it is foolishness.

  • Gary Stanley

    So Jordan is leading the repubs charge for wanting to make people who can't find work work before they starve to death? I can imagine him in a dark uniform, wearing a peaked hat and with a riding crop in his hand saying, "Make them work, make them work if they want to eat."

    The rules already limit benefits for able-bodied MEN to only 3 months of benefits in a 3 year period unless they meet very specific criteria.

  • Bud Simpson

    I guess Jim Jordan got over his hiding pedophiles and decided to go after people that are hungry.

    It seems there isn't a bar too low for him.

  • Bob Crabbs

    Rep. Jim Jordan needs to research how many employees of Wal-Mart are receiving food stamps due to their intentional under-paying of their employees. Here in Martinsburg most employees receive food stamps due to employees not being able to get enough hours to be self-sustainable.
    Companies intentionally keep employee's hours low, thus denying employees the ability to maintain a decent quality of life. Quit ignoring the real causes of the need for SNAP - formerly known as Food Stamps. At the same time, identify people who are committing fraud, at remove them from the program. I'm not naive - the haves sure like to put down the have-nots, don't they?? Isn't the Republican party Pro-Family?? Makes you wonder, doesn't it??

  • Bree Zee

    My daughter and I used SNAP when I lost my job about 10 yrs ago. We used it for 3 mos and by then I had another job. That's what it's supposed to be for - supplemental assistance. Not lifetime support. Not even the lifetime of a child. If you can't afford to feed your child, don't have children. Certainly don't have more than one. It's time we wean people off the public dole. If there are enough jobs out there for 15 million illegal immigrants, there are enough jobs out there for legal citizens. Go to work.

  • Silverbird

    "the current welfare system penalizes positive steps toward self-sufficiency"

    how exactly?

  • LucanTheMan

    I agree with Jordan here. And, it's not because I don't have empathy for the poor - it's because I don't have empathy for those who don't want to work. My family received government assistance when I was very young. My dad worked two jobs at the time. As soon as he could, he got off the government assistance and was very proud to do so. He needed help - but it wasn't because he wasn't trying to better himself. I don't have a lot of sympathy for those that want to live off the government without giving back to society.

  • John Rettinger

    Trump suggests allowing unrestricted development of US oil reserves. Petroleum Corporations will lose value in issued debentures for corporate bonds, particularly in regards to the cash yields and dividends. Companies rely on fast and strong revenues to pay Investors. The Administration recommends a capital outlay that requires billions of dollars invested into the facilitation of oil fields. Energy Companies in turn must request corporate loans, offer shares, and issue corporate bonds to pay for this expansion. Trump's suggestion incites economic instability, financial insolvency, and implied fiscal debacle.