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AFA Action celebrates the end of federal handouts through Mississippi RAMP program

Wednesday, August 03, 2022 @ 01:26 PM

AFA Action celebrates the end of federal handouts through Mississippi RAMP program

TUPELO, Miss. — AFA Action applauds the announcement today by Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves to end another federal handout that is encouraging welfare dependency and fraud. Reeves announced he is closing the Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program (RAMP) and returning funds for the program back to the federal government in an effort to encourage employment, reduce fraud and save taxpayer funds.

“The federal rental assistance program is another COVID-era welfare program that helps explain why people are not getting back to work, even when employers are offering massive hiring bonuses, higher hourly wages, and new flexibility for workers,” said Jameson Taylor, Ph.D., Director of Government Affairs for AFA Action. “The ERA program was supposed to be narrowly tailored to help people experiencing significant financial hardship due to COVID-19. Added on top of all the other recent welfare expansions, like expanded Medicaid enrollment and increases in SNAP/food stamps, states are discovering the program is just not necessary. The money is not being used because the demand is not there. It’s time to end this program to prevent fraud and abuse.”

The federal ERA program is now completely optional for states. Since May 2022 at least three states — Florida, Iowa, and Virginia — have closed their programs to new applicants. States may also set eligibility limits and define other standards for the program, such as requiring comprehensive eligibility documentation. Funds are supposed to be used to provide rental assistance to individuals who have experienced “significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 outbreak,” and demonstrate a “risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.” In Mississippi, the ERA program is called the Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program (RAMP). Currently, applicants in many Mississippi counties may receive RAMP payments based on self-attestation of income, without providing further verification. 

Taylor continued, “The data shows that ending these unnecessary COVID welfare programs will encourage people to get back to work. Last year, when Gov. Reeves ended the COVID unemployment expansion, we saw the people of Mississippi respond with tremendous results. More than 300,000 people went back to work. This shows that with just a little bit of encouragement, people will respond and take positive steps toward a better future for themselves and their families.

“RAMP was always supposed to be a temporary program,” concluded Taylor. “It’s time for the Biden administration to end the COVID national emergency and the myriad of welfare programs that have been encouraging people not to work. Ending RAMP sends a signal to D.C. that it’s time for the country to get back to normal.”

AFA Action is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to advancing biblical, family values in society and government by educating and influencing public policy. The mission of AFA Action is to inform and mobilize individuals to strengthen the biblical foundations of America by persuading individuals with the truth of the Gospel, challenging the lost to repent, promoting societal values that are consistent with Scripture, restraining evil and exposing the works of darkness, motivating people to take a stand on cultural and moral issues, and encouraging Christians to bear witness to the world the love of Jesus Christ. Find AFA Action Alerts here. 

For more information on AFA Action, visit www.afaaction.net or follow AFA Action on Facebook or Twitter.

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To interview an AFA Action spokesperson, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.   

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