This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation
. The author of this post is Mitch Kokai
Angela Rachidi writes
for National Review Online about a disturbing decision from the new Biden administration.
- President Joe Biden's recent executive order to expand food assistance to U.S. households, while well-intentioned, represents a substantial overreach of the executive branch and a blatant attempt to override the intent of Congress. If successful, this dangerous precedent would open the door to major expansions of the social safety net without congressional approval. Congress must resist the president's attempts to subvert the intent of existing law.
- Less than one week into the Biden presidency, the new administration issued a series of executive orders focused on COVID-19 economic relief. One such order seeks to expand food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. In it, President Biden instructed the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to take "immediate steps to make it easier for the hardest-hit families to enroll and claim more generous benefits in the critical food and nutrition assistance area." In reality, the executive order asks a federal agency — the USDA — to intentionally misinterpret the Families First Act and subvert the constitutional authority of Congress over the legislative process.
- The Families First Act, which passed in March 2020, clearly outlined that states could request waivers from the Agriculture Department to provide emergency allotments to SNAP households "not greater than the applicable maximum monthly allotment for the household size." In normal times, 60 percent of households enrolled in SNAP do not receive the maximum benefit because they have income from other sources — such as earnings — that they can use for purchasing food. ...
- ... The Agriculture Department, under President Trump, had approved emergency allotment plans for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands — but only in accordance with the law. ...
- ... The Biden administration's executive order is encouraging its USDA to misinterpret the 2020 law. ...