Ryan Budget to 'Retool' Food Stamps, Welfare

A detailed description obtained by Breitbart News of House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan’s new budget will angle to drastically reform the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food stamps program. 

Ryan’s budget aims to “retool” the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, by taking much of the program’s power away from the federal government and handing it over to individual states, according to the budget description.

First off, the budget “eliminates the incentive for states to sign up as many recipients as possible.”

Then, after the economy has recovered, Ryan’s budget calls for SNAP to turn into a block grant program for states.

“After employment has recovered, it converts SNAP into a block grant, indexed for inflation and eligibility,” the Ryan budget description reads. “This reform allows states to tailor their programs to their recipients’ needs. And it encourages states to help recipients find work.”

In addition to those reforms, the Ryan budget “calls for time limits and work requirements.”

The committee said SNAP’s “flawed structure” needs reform because “states receive more money if they enroll more people in the program—so their incentive is to get people onto the rolls,” while states “have little incentive to help people get off the roles and find work. In fact, these programs make it harder to become independent.”

The Ryan budget also calls for the reinstatement of the work requirement for another welfare program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

President Barack Obama gutted the welfare work requirements, passed during Bill Clinton’s presidency with bipartisan support while Newt Gingrich was the Speaker of the House, last year. Many in the media, and Obama himself, claimed during the last election that Mitt Romney’s campaign ad claiming Obama “quietly ended” the welfare work requirement was not true. 

But right before Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined that Obama had in fact fundamentally changed that aspect of welfare.

In the 91-page document laying out Ryan’s budget, the House Budget Committee said the Obama administration’s decision to gut the welfare reform work requirements was done “in contravention to current law.”

“This budget rescinds any authority the administration thinks it has to provide for waivers of the work requirement of the TANF program,” the description reads. “It assumes that President Clinton and the Republican majority at the time were correct in requiring robust work requirements for the TANF program—which led to the largest sustained reduction in child poverty since the onset of the ‘Great Society.’”

The actual specifics of the budget will not be available until later on Tuesday, after Ryan’s committee takes it through markup.


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