Republican rips McCarthy’s ‘sleight of hand’ that will see MORE Americans get food stamps
A provision in the new debt deal compromise to expand work requirements for food benefit recipients that Republican leaders are cheering would actually put 78,000 additional people on the public assistance program over a five year period.
The reason, according to an analysis released Tuesday night by the Congressional Budget office, is that a series of waivers and exceptions included in the language would outweigh the people getting kicked off the benefit through the expanded work requirement.
‘I have renamed this bill the sleight of hand spending bill,’ complained Texas Rep. Keith Self, who singled out the provision for criticism.
‘We’ve been very proud of the work requirements. In this bill we have temporary work requirements, but we’ve added permanent new exceptions.’
Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his leadership team have been stressing the expanded work requirements for people on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the debt deal. But new exemptions will lead to an estimated increase in recipients, according to CBO
Under current law, able-bodied adults under 50 face work or job training requirements of 80 hours per month to get benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The bill gradually raises the age to 54, which would push people off the program.
But the deal also includes new exceptions that Democratic negotiators pushed for. These would apply to people experiencing homelessness, veterans, and those 18-24 who were in foster care at age 18.
The changes would result in $2.1 billion in additional spending over a decade, according to CBO.
During the 2025–2030 period, when the group of people up to the age of 54 would be subject to the work requirement and the new exclusions were in effect, approximately 78,000 people would gain benefits in an average month, on net (an increase of about 0.2 percent in the total number of people receiving SNAP benefits),’ according to the analysis.
That is due to ‘offsetting effects’: the raised age for work requirements would reduce spending by $6.5 billion, but the new exclusions would increase spending by $6.8 billion.
Director of the Office of Management and Budget and White House negotiator Shalanda Young said the savings from a new work requirement for SNAP benefits and new exemptions being added would be ‘a wash’
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) and other Freedom Caucus members have been hammering the budget deal
Former Trump OMB Director Russ Vought ripped GOP negotiators for being outfoxed
GOP leaders are cheering expanded work requirements for SNAP benefits in the budget deal
Stormie Whitten, 25, uses her Maine EBT card while shopping for groceries at Paul’s grocery store. Gov. Paul LePage announced Wednesday that Maine will no longer seek a federal waiver that allows some able-bodied adults to receive food stamps without working or volunteering. The debt deal heading to a vote expands work requirements by adjusting the age range
Some of the exemptions would be for people under 50, which would bring the total direct spending increase to an estimated $1.8 billion.
Republicans backing the deal negotiated by leadership pushed back on congressional scorekeepers Tuesday night. ‘The simple answer is the CBO got [it] wrong,’ said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), a Kevin McCarthy ally.
But White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, who helped negotiate the deal, predicted earlier Tuesday that the changes would offset.
‘We believe those who are off of those requirements, because of those exemptions, will be about the same number as those who are phased in on age,’ she told reporters at the White House Tuesday.
‘And you have to remember this: This entire SNAP change is sunset in 2030 to give Congress a chance to see how the new exemptions work and how the new ages work. And they can opine on a future farm bill if these changes have made a difference in the SNAP program,’ she said, referencing the legislation that authorizes the program.
She predicted the numbers would be ‘a wash’ in terms of who goes on and those who come off the program.
Former Trump OMB director Russ Vought, who has been savaging the deal on Twitter even as many House Republicans embrace it wrote: ‘The gang can’t shoot straight, folks. Work requirements are supposed to save money.’
Also bashing the trade-off were Reps. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), both members of the conservative Freedom Caucus.