Issue Brief posted November 3, 2016
Getting the Facts Straight on School Meals and Child Nutrition Reauthorization
The House and the Senate might soon consider child nutrition bills that would reauthorize the infamous Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Both bills would maintain a new provision that gives free meals to students regardless of family income (i.e., universal school meals), leave intact (with some minor tweaks) the prescriptive federal school meal standards, and…
Issue Brief posted October 28, 2016
Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act Can Restart Welfare Reform
In May 2016, Senator Mike Lee (R–UT) and Representative Jim Jordan (R–OH) introduced the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act. This legislation takes a number of significant steps towards reforming the nation’s massive and broken welfare system, which is fraught with out-of-control spending, fraud, anti-work policies, and marriage penalties. The Welfare Reform and…
Issue Brief posted May 26, 2016
Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Time for Serious Reform, Not Tinkering
Congress is currently working on reauthorizing the federal child nutrition programs, which include school meal programs. The last time Congress reauthorized these programs, it passed the controversial Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a major priority for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act made a number of…
Issue Brief posted February 24, 2016
Setting Priorities for Welfare Reform
The United States’ means-tested welfare system consists of over 80 programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and lower-income Americans. Total annual spending on these programs reached $1 trillion in 2015. More than 75 percent of this funding comes from the federal government.
The last substantial reform of welfare, enacted…
Backgrounder posted February 8, 2016
Maine Food Stamp Work Requirement Cuts Non-Parent Caseload by 80 Percent
In 2015, the U.S. government spent over $1 trillion on means-tested welfare aid, providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income individuals. The food stamp program is the nation’s second largest means-tested welfare program. The number of food stamp recipients has risen dramatically from about 17.2 million in 2000 to 45.8…
Backgrounder posted December 4, 2015
Important Policy Riders for the FY 2016 Appropriations Bills
The Constitution unequivocally grants Congress the exclusive power to appropriate funds for the “necessary and proper” operations of government. James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 58 that providing budgetary powers to Congress was a critical element in maintaining individual rights: “The power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and…
Issue Brief posted March 27, 2015
The Moynihan Report 50 Years Later: Why Marriage More Than Ever Promotes Opportunity for All
In 1965, Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who later served as a U.S. Senator from New York, introduced what has come to be known as the Moynihan Report. His report focused on the increases in disparities between white and black Americans in terms of income, standard of living, and education. Moynihan boldly asserted that the root cause of these…
Backgrounder posted September 15, 2014
The War on Poverty After 50 Years
This week, the U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release its annual poverty report. The report will be notable because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. In his January 1964 State of the Union address, Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in…
Issue Brief posted April 7, 2014
The “Heat and Eat” Food Stamp Loophole and the Outdated Cost Projections for Farm Programs
In February, Congress passed a new farm bill that lacked meaningful and necessary reform. Making matters worse, Congress made critical mistakes that will have a major impact on both food stamps and farm programs. The most significant attempt at food stamp reform was to close the “heat and eat” loophole, which allows states to artificially boost the amount of food stamps…
Issue Brief posted March 7, 2014
New Preschool Spending an Unnecessary Burden on American Taxpayers
President Obama has proposed spending $75 billion over the next 10 years to create a new federally funded preschool initiative. His fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposes spending billions to expand access to “high quality preschool” for every four-year-old child in the country. Legislative proposals in the House and Senate mirror the President’s plan.
Issue Brief posted December 4, 2013
Eight Things to Watch for in the Farm Bill
The House and Senate are working out differences between their farm bills. Since both bills are seriously flawed, any bill that the negotiators produce is also likely to have major problems. The following is a list of major questions to consider if the negotiators do come up with a farm bill.
1. Will Congress Continue to Play Politics with the Farm Bill by Combining…