In response to the heap of Republican proposals in recent years that force poverty-stricken people to pass drug screenings in order to be eligible for welfare benefits, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) introduced legislation that would require anyone who claims deductions of $150,000 or more, to pass a drug test.
“As a strong advocate for social programs aimed at combating poverty, it deeply offends me that there is such a deep stigma surrounding those who depend on government benefits, especially as a former welfare recipient,” Moore said in a press release.
“Sadly, Republicans across the country continue to implement discriminatory policies that criminalize the less fortunate and perpetuate false narratives about the most vulnerable among us,” Moore said. “These laws serve only one purpose: stoking the most extreme sentiments and misguided notions of the conservative movement.”
Republicans have recently pushed drug-testing bills for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps put food on the table for over 45 million Americans.
Although the wording of Moore’s bill was not currently available, she said that rich people that want to take advantage of the government tax breaks for large itemized deductions would have to pass a drug test. Itemized deductions on mortgage interest alone cost the treasury around $70 billion a year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 75 percent of tax expenditures goes to the wealthiest 20 percent.
The idea came to Moore when House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) revealed his poverty policy agenda last in front of a drug and alcohol treatment center.
“When he stood in front of a drug treatment center and rolled out his anti-poverty initiative, pushing this narrative that poor people are drug addicts, that was the last straw,” Moore said.