(Newsroom America) -- A new report by the Congressional Research Service found that the number of able-bodied Americans on food stamps exploded following changes to the work requirement by the Obama administration.
The White House had earlier insisted that the changes would not gut a landmark 1996 welfare law that required those receiving assistance to work, if they were able. The new CRS report appears to contradict that claim, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.
Besides the broader work requirements which have become an issue during the current campaign cycle, the law also contained provisions moving able-bodies recipients to work by limiting the amount of time they could receive food stamps.
President Obama suspended the rule when he signed his economic stimulus package into law. Since then the number of adults on food stamps has doubled from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010, according to the CRS report, which was issued to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., in the form of a memo.
"This report once again confirms that President Obama has severely gutted the welfare work requirements that Americans have overwhelmingly supported since President Clinton signed them into law," Cantor said in a statement. "It’s time to reinstate these common-sense measures, and focus on creating job growth for those in need."
The law was initially passed by a Republican Congress and signed by a Democratic president, Bill Clinton.
The original law limited food stamp recipients to three months' worth of benefits over a 36-month period unless the beneficiary "works at least 20 hours a week; participates in an employment and training program for at least 20 hours per week; or participates in a (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) ‘workfare’ program for at least 20 hours per week."
Obama's economic stimulus packaged suspended the rule for all states beginning in April 2009.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has made rising government dependency a campaign issue, criticizing the administration for growing welfare rolls and doing too little to create a pro-job growth environment.
"Frankly we have two different views about America," Romney told Fox News Tuesday evening. "The president's view is one of a larger government. There is a tape that came out where is the president is saying he likes redistribution. I disagree. I think a society based upon a government centered nation where government plays a larger role and redistributes money, [that's the] wrong course for America."
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