MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Some people receiving food allowances through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, might need to work if a U.S. House bill becomes law.
The House narrowly passed a new farm bill Thursday. The bill adds more requirements for people to participate in SNAP.
If the bill becomes law people ages 18 to 59, including those with dependents, would be required to work at least 20 hours a week.
"We want to help people be able to get out of this cycle of poverty, and by saying that we'll help you find a job and for you to work at least 20 hours a week," said U.S. Representative Mike Rogers.
Currently, work requirements are in place for 18 to 49-year-old people without dependents.
Job training or education can meet that 20-hour requirement.
This proposed bill would not apply to the elderly, people with disabilities, or those who are pregnant.
The bill would also increase funding for education and training programs to help prepare those in SNAP for the workforce.
Democrats voted against the bill because they said it would take too many people off of the SNAP program when they have needs.
"About 900,000 Alabama children, seniors, and workers rely on SNAP to put food in the refrigerator, and this is going to put a lot of people at risk," said ARISE Executive Director Kimble Forrister.
Republicans said the changes will help encourage people to transition into the workforce.
The Senate still needs to vote on its own version of the farm bill.