Hatch Wants Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients

Utah senator wants condition on jobless benefits
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Spudsy
Posted Jun 16, 2010 6:47 PM CDT
Hatch Wants Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks at the 2010 Utah GOP Convention, Saturday, May 8, 2010 in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)

(Newser) – As a possible extension of jobless benefits works its way through Congress, Orrin Hatch is trying to insert a controversial condition: Recipients must pass a drug test before they get their money, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. "Too many Americans are locked into a life of a dangerous dependency not only on drugs, but the federal assistance that serves to enable their addiction," says the Utah Republican. The amendment would apply to all those seeking welfare.

Matt Welch complains in Reason that what's "always missing from these flippant tramplings of our privacy rights are two classes of people: Lawmakers themselves, and recipients of corporate welfare." He adds that "if you are at all dependent on the state, whether by choice or force, and you don't have the good manners to be powerful, you will always stand the risk of being treated like a patient at a criminal asylum."

(Read more unemployment benefits stories.)

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