In recent years, Congressional Republicans have proposed budgets that would attack the fundamental structure of key safety net programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid, and “block grant” them. Under a block grant, states receive a fixed amount of funds to spend in a designated area and must choose between competing needs. The history of block grants—particularly the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant—shows that they fail to keep up with need, do not respond to economic downturns, allow states to divert funds, and increase disparities between the opportunities offered to residents of different states.
Suzanne Wikle and Jessica Gehr, members of the income and work supports team, wrote an article for the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families about lessons from TANF and CCDBG that show the dangers of changing Medicaid to block grants.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, new spending data for fiscal year (FY) 2015 shows great variation in state spending.
Effective July 1, Arizona will lower its lifetime limit on receipt of cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to just 12 months, the shortest in the nation.
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) acknowledged the effects of poverty on too many Americans yet offered the wrong solutions. Instead of building on what works—such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), expanded Head Start and child care subsidies, and nutritional assistance—the policy paper…
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has put forward a budget proposal that calls for block granting of both Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).