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Research Archive

July 12, 2023

Employment in SNAP: Setting the Record Straight

Skeptics of work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) often argue that most families receiving SNAP benefits are already working. A recent NBCNews article, for example, claimed that four out of five SNAP households have at least one working person in the household, and that 10 percent had three or more workers in 2021,…

June 23, 2023

SNAP Can Improve Nutrition, Help Farmers, and Support the Environment

A headline in the Wall Street Journal earlier this year read, “America Is Binging on Snacks, and Food Companies Are Eating It Up.” The article explains how American diets that were already heavily reliant on snacks and packaged foods, have only gotten more so since the pandemic – to the tune of $181 billion in household snack purchases…

June 16, 2023

The Missing Context Behind “Cuts” in Fast-Growing Welfare Programs

Official Washington just completed a heated debate on the debt limit, punctuated by intense partisan differences over strengthening work requirements for key welfare programs. On one side stood House Republicans, who on April 26 approved legislation that would have strengthened work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (dubbed “ABAWDs”) collecting major welfare benefits like food stamps and…

June 15, 2023

The Conservative Case for SNAP Restrictions

Conservatives believe in individual freedom, free enterprise, and limited government. This is why conservatives often bridle against the government restricting individual choice—even when it comes to the use of public benefits. After all, being free to make decisions for yourself and your family is fundamental to conservative thought. So, why should policymakers consider placing restrictions on what…

June 13, 2023

Testimony: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Toward Better Employment and Health Outcomes

Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Scott, and members of the Agriculture Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on this important issue. My name is Angela Rachidi and I am a Senior Fellow on poverty and opportunity at the American Enterprise Institute, where I have spent the past several years researching policies aimed at reducing…

June 8, 2023

Work Improves Mental Health

Since President Joe Biden signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (FRA) into law, countless news stories have detailed how thousands of low-income Americans will be negatively impacted by new work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). A narrow work requirement has long existed in SNAP, but changes in the FRA raised the age of SNAP’s…

June 7, 2023

Don’t Give Away the Farm Bill

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…

May 30, 2023

Two Sentences Will Strengthen SNAP’s Support for Work

The debt ceiling deal, agreed to by President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy, will improve the federal safety net’s effectiveness in helping people rise out of poverty. It modestly enhances work requirements to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is federal cash welfare, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as…

May 19, 2023

House Bill Makes Room for Improvements to SNAP

This week, the House Appropriations Committee marked up a spending bill for the US Department of Agriculture and related agencies, which includes many of the nation’s largest safety net and nutrition programs—most notably, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Although much attention will focus on proposed spending cuts, one under-the-radar spending amendment proposed by House Republicans could…

May 6, 2023

SNAP Needs a Healthy Overhaul

In the coming months, Congress is expected to reauthorize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the country’s largest food assistance program that helps poor families afford groceries. Amidst ongoing debt ceiling negotiations, Republicans have focused on SNAP’s work provisions, proposing expansions to work requirements and identifying employment as a program goal. These efforts are crucially important…