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The Bad News: Debt Deal May Actually Weaken Work Requirements

We warned yesterday that Biden chipped and chipped away at GOP welfare reforms until the final debt ceiling bill contained only minor changes to work requirements: nothing to Medicaid, nearly nothing on TANF (cash assistance), and only 20 hours of work required to get the food stamp benefits.

Yesterday CBO dropped a bomb on the debt deal and this one is highly disappointing. It turns out that the bill may at the end of the day weaken work requirements, increase food stamp spending $2.1 billion and add 78,000 people to the rolls. That’s because the bill’s new exemptions (for homeless people, veterans, and young adults who grew up in foster care) remove more people from existing work mandates than the number of people the bill’s expansion of work requirements from age 50 to 54 covers.

Whoops! What a screw-up.

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