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In the News: FGA’s New Paper on Record-High Food Stamp Payments

Unilateral, unaccountable, and legally questionable—these are the best words to describe President Biden’s actions to increase food stamp payments. Another word that comes to mind: expensive. 

In case you missed it, FGA has a new research paper detailing the historic rise in spending in the food stamps program. Spoiler: It’s bankrupting taxpayers

The Washington Examiner shared FGA’s paper and noted that this growth in food stamp spending is noteworthy given the strides our economy has made since the early days of the pandemic.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, food stamp benefits have increased by more than 100 percent. As the paper notes, as of September 2022, approximately 41.7 million Americans were receiving food stamps, an increase of 4.8 million

The causes? 

A nationwide suspension of the food stamp work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents. 

The Biden administration’s 25 percent increase in food stamps. 

An additional 12.5 percent food stamp benefit increase. 

And “emergency allotments.” This is a pandemic-era policy that increases the amount of food stamp benefits so every single person on the program receives the maximum benefit for their household size, no matter their income. This policy alone has resulted in more than $90 billion in new spending in the past three years. In early 2021, more “guidance” by the president resulted in another 30 percent jump in spending in just two months, nearly $1 billion per month. 

Thankfully, the emergency allotments are due to expire this spring. But the fact remains: The sort of unilateral action on the part of the president that we saw when the Biden administration further boosted the allotments via guidance shouldn’t be allowed to happen without congressional scrutiny. A public health emergency shouldn’t be cause for the executive branch to spend as much as it pleases and unilaterally grow the government. And with the Biden administration’s recent announcement of the public health emergency’s extension, the problem of an unchecked executive branch spending American tax dollars with no oversight is not going away. 

The best move Congress could take is to pass the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which puts the power of the purse back in the legislative branch’s hands for administration policies with a hefty price tag. 

At FGA, we don’t just talk about changing policy—we make it happen.

By partnering with FGA through a gift, you can create more policy change that returns America to a country where entrepreneurship thrives, personal responsibility is rewarded, and paychecks replace welfare checks.