Lee introduces Welfare Reform, Upward Mobility Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Sen. Mike Lee introduced a bill to address the deep problems in the federal government’s welfare programs that make it more difficult for low-income Americans to work their way into the middle class and stay there. The “Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act” would get existing federal welfare programs under control and would help the working poor transition from poverty to opportunity and security.

“Poverty is not just the absence of money, but also the absence of opportunity,” Lee said. “Today’s poverty programs place artificial restraints on those who are trying to get ahead, build careers and provide better lives for themselves and their families. Successful welfare programs are those that make poverty more temporary, not more tolerable, and we need to move current policy in that direction.  The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act will give all low-income Americans the opportunity to earn a good living and build a good life.”

The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act corrects and strengthens current welfare programs by restoring work incentives for individuals and families, improving state administration of welfare programs, rewarding states that transition beneficiaries from welfare to work, and imposing greater transparency in means-tested welfare spending.

The bill has been cosponsored by Sens. Cruz, Vitter, and Inhofe. Representative Jim Jordan is planning to introduce a companion version in the House.

The bill has been endorsed by the National Taxpayers Union, Heritage Action for America, the Association of Mature American Citizens, and the Concerned Women for America.


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  • D Hodja February 12, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Lee is a sad commentary on Southern Utah

    • Zeke February 13, 2014 at 7:21 am

      So I guess the complete opposite of Lee would be favorable for you? Keep stealing from the rich to subsidize the lazy so they can sit around and continue to be non-productive parasites on our society. Very insightful.

  • Julie A. February 12, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I’d like to see the fine print on this bill. It sounds like it would just give less help to those who really need it, for a shorter period of time.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic February 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      Julie A., we obtained and included a PDF of the full text of the bill. You will find it under Resources at the bottom of the report.
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • Tracie February 12, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I don’t see anything in that bill that would actually help the poor get out of poverty. What opportunities is it providing?

    How ’bout providing a living wage to people who are working?

    • Bub February 13, 2014 at 12:34 am

      Would we expect anything less from a clown like Lee?

  • elliemae100 February 13, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Them welfare people are making too much money and are too lazy! Let’s cut their benefits! Sez the guy who makes $175,000 as a senator and works 55 days a year.


  • Craig February 13, 2014 at 6:37 am

    This bill would includes work requirements for all able bodied, work-capable adults receiving SNAP benefits.
    36 hours per month for individuals without dependents;
    72 hours per month for individuals or couples with dependents;

    How about 15 hours per WEEK for individuals without dependents and 30 hours per WEEK for couples with dependents. They can clean our parks, highways,etc. Maybe they can also participate in a job training program. Put in time in an assisted living facility or a hospital. There are a lot of creative ways to teach. Give recipients a reason to WANT to get off of welfare instead on enabling them.

    • JamesB February 13, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      I like the way you think Craig. I have had many able bodied people on unemployment come to my business over the years looking to fill out an application so they can keep their benefits. When I ask if they are looking for a job they say “no, just looking to fill out an application”.

  • Karen February 13, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Thanks to STGNews for providing the details of the bill. It looks to me like Lee and his buddy Ted Cruz seek to punish the poor and starve them into Lee’s definition of work. If a family doesn’t meet his complicated definition of work, then food stamps (SNAP) are revoked for the entire household. Apparently, if children are hungry enough the head of household will have even more incentive to navigate his complicated system. Lee is just the opposite of a compassionate conservative. And, by the way, what is with all the language about prohibiting abortion? We need to replace Lee!

    • Karen February 13, 2014 at 10:52 am

      To clarify, I’m not in favor of abortion but what is all the abortion language doing in a bill to help the poor? Lee and his buddies are trying to stuff this silly bill with their own agenda.

  • DoubleTap February 13, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Since when did “welfare” become a career?? That is the way of the liberals. Keep giving to them that won’t work or make any effort to better themselves and you get lifetime welfare dependents, and above all, lifetime liberal Democratic voters. Free food, free phones, free healthcare, free education, almost unlimited unemployment benefits…..Heck, why work? I am sick and tired of supporting those who refuse to support themselves and instead depend and demand from those that work. Welfare needs to be a “hand up”, NOT a handout!B3F3

  • Bub February 13, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Right wingers would have us all go back 200 years when slavery and child labor were the norm, and 45 would have been old age. And most of these right wingers are such hypocrites. They blame the poor for everything as they sit back and enjoy their generous government social security, generous pensions, government provided medicare. The problem with you clowns is that you have no compassion, no empathy. You think you are an island unto yourselves and no one else matters but you — a lot of you are borderline sociopaths.

    • Bub February 13, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      I would just like to add I have no bitter feelings for my right-wing friends. A lot of times a person like “Lee” is just voted in by ill informed citizens that don’t really understand a lot of what someone like him stands for. The key is to stay informed and not ever take politicians at their word and judge them mainly by what they do and not what they say(Rwing and Lwing both). Of course we all know that no politicians are can represent us fully and so we try and choose the lesser evil. I feel that Mike Lees agenda is very backwards for the country. Hell, does anyone even know what his agenda is besides hating Obama and trying to downsize govt? I think Mike Lee is just a scoundrel and a tea-party talking clown..

      • Rachel February 13, 2014 at 4:09 pm

        You say that you do not have any ill feelings toward your “right-wing friends”, yet you bully, name-call, and belittle their beliefs. If anyone disagrees with you, you call them bigots, hypocrites, racists, or sociopaths. All this while hiding conveniently behind the nickname of “bub.”

        I will agree with you that both sides of the aisle are corrupted, but your divisive attitude does absolutely nothing to solve the problem. In fact, you are just as guilty as those politicians that you are attacking in dividing this country.

        • Bub February 14, 2014 at 11:09 am

          I will admit I take people’s stupidity and ignorance too personal at times, and acknowledge the strong brainwashing effect of fox news and religion. 🙂

          But I won’t agree with the sheeples just to keep a smile on your face 😀

  • climber February 14, 2014 at 10:16 am

    The sad part about this is that when people are recieving SNAP or cash assistance and are underemployed, due to lack of oppurtunity, experience, or education, they are required to do ‘volunteer’ type work which takes away from job searching and job training which bith could bring them up out of poverty. And discriminating against people on the basis of criminal record makes it even worse. When a person was convicted of a felony five years ago and had a clean record since then they are still forced into poverty due to lack of oppurtunity. I get they did the crime but why continuously punish them and keep them from beconing productive members of society.

  • Bender February 28, 2014 at 12:04 am

    I’m on board with this bill Senator Lee if you’ll add a rider that requires you to reimburse the $400,000 the banking system subsidized you with when your home went through a short sale. It’s only fair that you repay this money that you stole from the hard working people whose home mortgage rates were raised to cover your theft.

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