Trump issues executive order directing federal agencies to consider work requirements for assistance programs

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On April 10, President Trump issued Executive Order (EO) #13828 directing secretaries of multiple federal agencies to conduct reviews of federal assistance programs to determine whether adding work requirements would help achieve program objectives.

Under the EO, federal agencies including the U.S. Departments of the Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Transportation and Education, have 90 days to submit recommended regulatory and policy changes to programs under their jurisdictions. Each department then has an additional 90 days to “take steps” to implement their recommended administrative actions.

While the EO follows guidance issued in January 2018 by the White House in support of state-level efforts to introduce work requirements for Medicaid, the new directive signals a broader push across the administration to reform certain entitlement programs, such as public housing benefits, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

Implementation of new work requirements on these and other safety-net programs could impact counties in two ways: first, adding work requirements could increase administrative burdens on counties in states where welfare programs are county-administered. In these states, counties play a central role in financing and delivering safety-net programs to residents. Second, the addition of new work requirements could also lead to more individuals becoming dependent on county programs if residents are no longer eligible for welfare services.

NACo will continue to monitor the administration’s guidance on federal safety-net programs to ensure any impacts on counties from proposed changes are thoroughly considered.

For more resources on social services programs, please see the following links:

Legislative Presentation: Medicaid and Counties

Policy Brief: Protect the Federal-State-Local Partnership for Medicaid

Policy Brief: Reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant

Policy Brief: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Reauthorization and Appropriations

Executive Order 13828: Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility



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