Despite Republican “work demands,” the compromise debt law actually increases SNAP registration


WASHINGTON — Under the $1.5 trillion debt limit bill proposed by the House Republican party, more people could receive food aid from the federal government, a prospect Democrats are likely to cheer, but so do the bill’s prospects could affect.

The Congressional Budget Office, the official bipartisan counter for Capitol Hill, said the changes proposed in the bill — expanding the age range for work requirements under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but also increasing eligibility for veterans and the homeless — would almost contradict each other equalize

The original Republican request was for labor requirements to reduce SNAP enrollments by 275,000 per month, but changes enacted by the White House, which exempted homeless and veterans, would result in a slight net increase in enrollments.

“In the period 2025-2030, when the group of people up to age 54 would be required to work and the new exclusions were in effect, about 78,000 people would be net recipients in an average month (an increase). of about 0.2 percent of the total number of people receiving SNAP benefits), the CBO said.

The $6.5 billion saved by expanded labor requirements would be more than offset by $6.8 billion in new spending on veterans and homeless benefits, the CBO noted.

House Republican support for the bill, which had already cracked since the deal was announced late Saturday, could further crumble. Opponents of the bill had said before the CBO score was announced that it did not save them enough money and were skeptical of the new proposed work requirement exemptions.

“They set exclusions for different categories [of people]”” Rep. Ralph Norman (RS.C.) told HuffPost on Tuesday, before the CBO score was released. “That makes no sense.”

“The job demands are so minimal,” Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) told HuffPost. “When age increases temporarily but eligibility increases permanently, [that] could very well be a step backwards for us in the ultimate cost of SNAP.”

Clyde also questioned whether “illegal aliens” would receive benefits as a result of the changes.

HuffPost readers: Have SNAP’s eligibility restrictions prevented working-age adults without dependents from being eligible for benefits? Tell us about it – email Please provide your phone number when you are ready for an interview.

Norman and Clyde are members of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, several of whom said on Tuesday they would oppose the bill because it does not do enough to cut spending. Their opposition means House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) must pass the bill with Democratic support — and the CBO analysis could win more Democratic votes for the bill.

Although the White House said over the weekend it expected the new exemptions to offset the impact of labor requirements, some liberal lawmakers worried about the impact the changes would have on food aid.

“Even with the exceptions, it will mean that people will have to go through a more bureaucratic process to determine whether or not they qualify for those exceptions,” said MP Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said Tuesday before the CBO score was released.

Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), chairman of the House committee that oversees food assistance, said at a news conference Tuesday night that the CBO had “double counted” certain people in the new entitlement categories, resulting in an overestimate of costs have .

“Honestly, CBO got their numbers wrong,” Thompson said.

The CBO also said the final bill would bring far fewer savings than the bill that Republicans pushed through the House of Representatives in late April. This bill delivered a whopping $4.8 trillion in deficit reduction over 11 years, with more than $3 trillion of those savings coming from caps on annual funding for federal agencies and programs.

Instead, the CBO said the deal negotiated with the White House would deliver just $1.5 trillion in savings through 2033, with $1.3 trillion of that coming from the 2024 and 2025 annual spending caps. While there are targets for annual spending thereafter, the CBO projected spending that would cause this to grow at the rate of inflation, which would be above the non-binding targets.

While Republicans said early in the negotiation process that they wanted spending cuts equal to or greater than the new higher debt limit, the $1.5 trillion savings in the final bill would fall short of the roughly $3 trillion margin the Biden administration expected to need by January 2025.

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