Republican Threatens to Drug Test Federal Unemployment Beneficiaries

Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM) filed legislation today that would make drug tests mandatory for people seeking federal unemployment benefits.

“For too long, our government has been avoiding the issue of accountability for the federal unemployment compensation program,” Pearce said in a press release, “Hard-working middle class Americans are struggling to make ends meet, and should not have to pay the way for those who have drug addictions.”

Pearce’s bill rests on the bogus assumption that unemployed people are more likely to use drugs than those with jobs, enforcing destructive stereotypes. His bill will force all applicants to pay for their own drug tests before receiving benefits, and compel current recipients to submit to testing within three months. The federal government would reimburse all negative tests with taxpayer dollars.

Last year, Florida Governor Rick Scott implemented a similar law that would require drug testing for welfare recipients, only to have it backfire at the cost of taxpayers. The New York Times reports that Florida’s drug test for benefits law ended up costing the state an extra $45,780. Just 2.6 percent of the state’s assistance applicants failed drug testing, mostly due to marijuana use.

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.



  1. Anonymous on

    Has anyone told this person that he will never hold office ever again at all?? the best thing to do is never let people like this ever hold office.

  2. Anonymous on

    He is an idiot.

    People on benefits need to eat.

    If you take that safety net away than crime/exploitation becomes the only option.

    The right has become this cruel hand – rather than the loving traditionalists it at one time was.

    Because you are a traditionalist and conservative doesn’t mean that you have to be a neo-con/Authoritarian.

    Grow up guys. This gives all republicans/conservatives a bad name. Though most of us libertarians & traditionalists are leaving the party. It’s just to fanatic and cruel.

  3. Anonymous on

    Steve must think that we forgot about the Republican Party and the Iran/Contra affair. How about all that gun and drug smuggling, Steve? Maybe your the one needing the drug testing? BTW, what is the “object of application” regarding your stinking laws, statutes, and codes, anyway? Did I hear you say an ens legis entity? Your “NAME GAME” is just about over.

  4. Anonymous on

    to be completely honest, why shouldnt we drug test those on welfare, addiction is nnot a disease or a disability it is a choice, and about self control, tax money shouldn’t go to those who do drugs, because that does not strengthen the economy putting the money back into the system, i am an ex-heroin addict weaning my way off methadone, i have a steady job, i do weekly drug tests. (they don’t test for marijuana because the doctors know its the least problem causing drug, alot of the people who see this doctor are on welfare so they get their methadone for free, but continue to keep using which pisses me off, quit for fuck sakes, you don’t get dope sick anymore,
    even people on welfare should not be drinking, that is not a nessecity for living,

  5. Cliff on

    You can bet that this piece of sht has money invested in drug testing. He will profit no matter what. How do these evil scums keep getting voted in?

  6. moldy on

    This has been creeping across our land for awhile now. I believe that the drug testing lobby has put $$$ in front of these fucking whores we call Congressmen. I’d say it’s getting really close to tourches and pitch forks boys.

  7. Atlanta Toker on

    This is why their party is dying, exactly why.
    They are so stupid that they cant see their parties problems even as it stares them BOLDLY in the face. Is there some sort of stupid test that you have to take to be a Republican?

    What you should be doing congressmen if you truly want to help the middle class is stop supporting Corporate Welfare and stop treating Corporations as though they were people.

    Start trying to figure out and explain how 1% of this nations people control an overpowering amount of this countrys wealth. If the playing field is really level then it not only shouldn’t be that way, it wouldn’t be that way.

    This is what you can do to help the middle class.

  8. Swazi-X on

    Before we drug test welfare recipients or students against their will (wouldn’t that be classified as an illegal search?)
    we need to drug test those in positions of power – especially anyone who calls for drug testing others.

    I’m so tired of school officials, congressmen, senators, law enforcement, etc. demanding those under their care/power/influence be tested for illicit drugs. We need to start at the top if we test anyone – those in government, law enforcement, etc. have vast powers over many hundreds/thousands/millions of citizens. *THESE* are the people who shouldn’t be under the influence of illicit drugs, not the welfare recipients who can only hurt themselves.

    We need to start with the cops – ALL law enforcement needs to be under threat of random, involuntary drug tests performed by a third party.

    Congressmen, Senators, Governors, and – especially – the President all need to be drug tested at regular intervals with the results immediately posted to the internet for all to see. These are the people who have immense potential for doing harm to countless others if they’re under the influence.

    Of course we won’t see this happen, because not only are most of our elected officials dishonest to start with, but many are just plain cowards when faced with the results of their actions in my opinion. How many of these greedy douchebags use their position and influence to weasel their way out of responsibility when the shiite hits the fan?

    All of them.

  9. Anonymous on

    people will be paying taxes lol i dont get it. this will be supporting drug the testing business thats all

  10. Anonymous on

    WWWWWW? When Will the World Wake to the Wonders of Weed?

  11. Anonymous on

    What a fucking feckless idiot. Another moron to jump on the fuck the poor bandwagon…. “That’s a good dollar”.

    Saves them from having to address any real issues if they can sell the other morons on hating their brothers, while they rob them both blind.

    “Let’s wear a salmon shirt for the picture…. it’s not pink enough to be outwardly gay and more trusting”.

    Fuck you.

  12. bhonze on

    He needs to worry about the Gap in his teeth more than unemployed! I have been working and paying into the system for 40yrs now and have been fortunate enough not to need it. I have earned the right to collect what I have paid if I do become unemployed so F^$( that greedy scum bag. If they do this it would only be right to include tobacco, alcohol, and over weight. Scum Bag!