GOP grows more optimistic about work requirement demands in debt talks


Republicans are feeling increasingly optimistic they can force President Joe Biden to make concessions on work requirements for safety net programs as part of the debt limit talks taking place this week.

Democrats are floating a rough proposal within their ranks that includes potential new restrictions on the emergency aid program known as the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families as part of the debt limit talks, according to two Republicans and three other people familiar with the conversations who were granted anonymity to discuss internal conversations. But House Republicans, who are aware of the movement, are still demanding further concessions on work requirements for food assistance and believe they have the leverage to force them, possibly before Biden leaves for the G-7 meeting in Japan Wednesday.

President Joe Biden on Sunday surprised many on Capitol Hill when he told reporters he wants to hear the GOP proposals on work requirements for key aid programs, although he appeared to rule out new requirements for Medicaid recipients. A swath of Hill Democrats took that to mean he’s open to expanding requirements on one or both of the two other programs Republicans are targeting: TANF and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is the country’s leading anti-hunger program.