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Trump Signs Bill Expanding Drug Testing For The Unemployed

James Lee/Flickr

The legislation removes certain Labor Department limits on which applicants can be drug tested.

Legislation with the backing of Republican Senator Ted Cruz (TX) received President Donald Trump's signature in March, voiding Department of Labor rules that limited drug testing for unemployment benefits to applicants whose jobs regularly engage in such testing.

“Under the previous administration, the Department of Labor undermined the ability of states to conduct drug testing in their programs as permitted by Congress,” Cruz said in a written statement. “This rule was yet another example of executive overreach by the Obama administration, and I commend President Trump for signing this resolution into law.”

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), a second sponsor of the bill, also pointed to the rules as a violation of state's rights:

“After 5 years of battling with the Obama Department of Labor, states like Texas will now be allowed to drug test folks on unemployment to ensure they are job ready from day one,” Brady said in a written statement. “This is a win for families, workers, job creators, and local economies.”

The measure enjoyed support from only four Democrats and was opposed by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Drug Policy Alliance.

“They said it’s about helping states save money, but this would actually set up states to waste tremendous amounts of money,” the group wrote in a letter to lawmakers signed by nearly 50 groups.

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