FGA Applauds Introduction of “America Works” Welfare Reform Package Authored by Representatives Josh Brecheen and Eric Burlison
- BY FGA
Legislation Addresses Biden Administration’s Massive Overreach in Food Stamp Program Ahead of Farm Bill
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) applauds Rep. Eric Burlison (R-MO) and Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-OK) for introducing two bills that, if passed, could help protect food stamp benefits for the truly needy and help end the cycle of dependency.
The Ending the Cycle of Dependency Act of 2023
Rep. Burlison’s legislation, the Ending the Cycle of Dependency Act of 2023, helps move able-bodied Americans off the sidelines and back into the workforce by addressing some of the biggest loopholes states and the federal government use to bypass work requirements for food stamp recipients.
The bill expands work requirements, eliminates geographic work requirement waivers, eliminates no-good-cause exemptions, enacts a lifetime benefit limit of five years for able-bodied adults, and ends the suspension of work requirements associated with the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“With the Ending the Cycle of Dependency Act, Rep. Burlison addresses some of the biggest barriers to work head on,” said Tarren Bragdon, FGA President and CEO. “For years, states and bureaucrats have created and fostered loopholes that keep Americans out of the workforce and trapped in dependency. Work requirements work—if you let them. By eliminating some of the biggest loopholes, more Americans can experience the value and dignity of work.”
The Thrifty Food Plan Accountability Act
The Thrifty Food Plan is used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to describe how much it costs to eat a balanced diet with a limited budget and is used as the basis for determining food stamp benefits. For decades, the reevaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan used a budget-neutral model that kept the purchasing power of the plan constant over time, adjusted for inflation. The Biden administration broke from this important precedent during a readjustment period and unilaterally hiked benefits by 27 percent. This rushed, massive spike violated USDA internal control standards.
Rep. Brecheen’s Thrifty Food Plan Accountability Act scales the Thrifty Food Plan back to 2020 spending levels, adjusted for inflation. It also requires adjustments to the Thrifty Food Plan to remain budget neutral.
“Everything about the Biden administration’s spending habits have been unprecedented, so it’s no surprise that USDA blew past decades-old standards, peer-review processes, and expert advice to unilaterally increase benefits,” said Tarren Bragdon. “This reckless action did nothing but increase dependency and further erode trust in Washington. Rep. Brecheen’s Thrifty Food Plan Accountability Act restores some fiscal sanity to the Thrifty Food Plan and helps this important program get back on track to serve the truly needy.”
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that promotes public policy solutions to create opportunities for every American to experience the American Dream. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.