Biden’s Unilateral Food Stamp Benefit Increase

The Biden Administration unilaterally increased Food Stamp allotments by reevaluating the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) used to calculate benefit levels.

Food Stamp benefits already receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to account for inflation. But the Biden Administration increased Food Stamps 21% above inflation in 2021.

The higher welfare payments will cost taxpayers about $300 billion over the next decade, discourage work, and further fueling inflation.

Sources: BLS, CBO, and USDA

The 2021 reevaluation violated precedent and Congressional intent.

CBO projects that USDA will again abuse TFP re-evaluations in 2026 and 2031, costing taxpayers billions unless Congress prevents it.

The Biden Administration’s unilateral welfare benefit increase has been costly and harmful. To prevent further damage, Congress should:

  • Rescind the 2021 TFP reevaluation.
  • Reset the TFP to what it would currently be, had it only grown with inflation (as measured by the chained Consumer Price Index for Food at Home) since 2021.
  • Implement guardrails around future TFP re-evaluations to be cost-constrained at no greater than the chained Consumer Price Index for Food at Home.
  • Prohibit USDA appropriations from being used to support future re-evaluations that are not cost-constrained or that attempt to justify its 2021 reevaluation.
  • Ensure the USDA follows all regulatory review processes.

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