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As Biden unilaterally increases food stamp benefits, Congress falls further into irrelevance

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18.08.2021

On Monday, the Biden administration announced that it would increase the value of monthly benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps, by an average of 25 percent. Regardless of how people feel about the decision, it nonetheless is an important example of how Congress is delegating itself into irrelevance.

The Constitution clearly places the power of the purse in the hands of Congress. This is not accidental. The Founding Fathers were concerned more than anything with preventing arbitrary and monarchical power from establishing itself in the newly independent United States. Accordingly, Article 1, Section 7 requires that “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives,” while the first powers granted to Congress in Section 8 are those of generating revenue and providing expenditures.

Common sense suggests the administration’s new rule violates the Constitution because it mandates expenditures without specific congressional approval. That is wrong because over the past century, Congress has delegated away many of its constitutional powers to the executive branch or its entities. Monday’s decision was specifically authorized by a 2018 law that mandated the executive........

© Washington Post


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