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Don’t Give Away the Farm Bill

The Wall Street Journal

June 7, 2023

Republicans have one more chance to roll back out-of-control welfare spending this year. The farm bill—must-pass legislation that authorizes food stamps and other agriculture programs—will be voted on by December. GOP lawmakers should focus on reining in President Biden’s unprecedented and expensive food-stamp hike.

The American Rescue Plan’s temporary 15% increase in food-stamp benefits was set to expire shortly after Mr. Biden took office in 2021. To prevent a decrease in benefits, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rushed out a new Thrifty Food Plan. Since 1975, the USDA has calculated the Thrifty Food plan to demonstrate the cost of a healthy diet, helping families find nutritious food on a budget. It serves as the benchmark for food stamps, also called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

By increasing the Thrifty Food Plan, the Biden administration took an unprecedented step. One of the reasons for the decision was that “the body weights of Americans have increased.” This is to say, food-stamp recipients should get more money because Americans weigh more. The USDA concluded that benefits should expand by about 23%—significantly surpassing the 15% increase that was about to expire. This boost went into effect on Oct. 1, 2021, the day after the temporary increase ended.

Read the entire piece here.