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New Work Requirements for Millions on Medicaid, Food Stamps Being Considered

The GOP has focused its attention on two anti-poverty programs

House Republicans are eyeing new work requirements for millions of low-income Americans who receive health insurance, money to buy food and other financial aid from the federal government, reprising the party's historic crusade against welfare as some lawmakers seek new ways to slash spending.

In recent weeks, the GOP has focused its attention on two anti-poverty programs: Medicaid, which enrolls the poorest families in health insurance, and food stamps, which provide grocery benefits to those in need. Top lawmakers including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) have publicly endorsed rules that could force some enrollees to find a job and work longer hours — or risk losing the government’s help entirely.

The demands largely come in the context of a brewing fight over the federal budget. Many Republicans have said that federal aid programs offer a way for policymakers to boost U.S. workforce participation while saving Washington money — a stance that infuriates Democrats, aid workers and others, who say such changes could harm vulnerable families still reeling since the coronavirus pandemic.

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