Federal Work Requirements and Government Spending Poll

Publication date: April 11, 2023
Written by: Sarah Coffey

The Center for Excellence in Polling recently surveyed likely voters to gauge their opinions on work requirements in welfare and government spending. Results indicate that work requirements and federal spending limits are widely supported, regardless of party affiliation.

Voters support work as a condition of welfare

Majorities of likely voters from all political parties support requiring able-bodied adults with no children at home to work, train, or volunteer for at least 20 hours per week as a condition of eligibility for major welfare programs. Specifically,


…of likely voters support this work requirement for cash welfare benefits and taxpayer-funded public housing.


…of likely voters support this work requirement in food stamps, including two-thirds of likely Democrat voters (66%).


…of likely voters support this work requirement in Medicaid, including nearly 70 percent of likely Independent voters (68%).

Voters favor a cap on government spending

There is also strong support among voters for placing limits on government spending. More than two-thirds think Congress should only raise the debt ceiling if it includes a federal spending reduction (67%). Similarly, 70 percent of likely voters—including majorities of Republicans (81%), Democrats (62%), and Independents (66%)—support requiring federal bureaucratic agencies to get congressional approval before costly regulations are allowed to go into effect.