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House Strips SNAP From Farm Bill in Unprecedented Move

July 11, 2013

7/12/13 Note:  We have updated this post to reflect legislative action.

For several decades, legislation to reauthorize farm programs and SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) have moved together.  Now, the House Republican leadership has split the bills, passing a stand-alone farm bill now and planning to move a separate...

“Blank Slate” Approach to Tax Reform Leaves Biggest Question Unanswered

June 28, 2013

Yesterday’s call from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and ranking Republican Orrin Hatch to initiate tax reform with a “blank slate” that doesn’t include any of the deductions, credits, exclusions, and other tax breaks collectively known as “tax expenditures” leaves a critical question unresolved:  what will policymakers do with the proceeds from narrowing or eliminating tax...

Rep. Brady’s Stunning Mischaracterization of the Estate Tax

June 25, 2013

Proponents of permanently repealing the estate tax often propagate various myths about it, but Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who chairs the Joint Economic Committee and is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, went a step further last week.  In introducing legislation to repeal the estate tax, Brady stated, “What...

Southerland Amendment Not a Normal “Work Requirement,” Would Reward States That Cut Unemployed Families Who Want to Work Off SNAP

June 21, 2013

As I explained yesterday, the farm bill that the House wisely rejected yesterday included an unprecedented provision to reward governors with large sums of unrestricted...

Farm Bill Amendment Would Pay States to Cut Off SNAP Benefits for People Who Want to Work But Can’t Find Jobs

June 20, 2013

The House today approved a stunning, extreme amendment to the farm bill from Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) that would allow states to require most adults who receive or apply for SNAP — including parents with children as young as 1 year old and many people with disabilities — to work or participate in a work or training program for at least 20 hours a week or else have their entire family’s...

House to Vote Tomorrow on Unprecedented Amendment that Would Increase Hardship and Hold Millions of the Most Vulnerable Americans Hostage to Farm-Bill Politics

June 19, 2013

The House will debate tonight — and will vote tomorrow — on an amendment to the farm bill that would hold millions of the nation’s poorest children, parents, and elderly and disabled people hostage to Congressional farm-bill politics.  The amendment, offered by Rep Mike Conaway (R-TX), would slash Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) benefits across...

Immigration Bill’s “Back Taxes” Amendment Much Harder to Implement than Senator Hatch Suggests

June 14, 2013

As our new report explains, some senators are proposing amendments to the immigration bill that would make its long and difficult path to citizenship far more difficult — in some cases undermining the fundamental goal of enabling undocumented workers to legalize their status.

One such proposal, from Senators Orrin Hatch...

Furman: Obama's Wise Choice

June 10, 2013

We commend President Obama for nominating Jason Furman as the next Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.  We know Jason’s work well — from his tenure in the White House National Economic Council under both Presidents Clinton and Obama to his two years as a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in 2005-2006.

Furman’s work is...

Senator Vitter Offers — and Senate Democrats Accept — Stunning Amendment With Racially Tinged Impacts

May 22, 2013

In today’s Senate debate on the farm bill, Senator David Vitter offered — and Senate Democrats accepted — an amendment that would increase hardship and will likely have strongly racially discriminatory effects.

The amendment would bar from SNAP (food stamps), for life, anyone who was ever convicted of one of a specified list of violent crimes at any time — even if they...

Critics of Obama Tax Subsidy Proposal Miss Key Points

May 21, 2013

Some charities and state and local governments have raised concerns about the President’s proposal to cap, at 28 cents on the dollar, the tax subsidy that affluent Americans receive for tax deductions and some other tax expenditures.  Charities worry that charitable donations would drop substantially (although the Tax Policy...