The Biden administration's "unlawful food stamp expansion" is driving "massive spikes in grocery prices," a new government watchdog report finds.
A study released Thursday by the Foundation for Government Accountability reported that the largest permanent increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 2021 has been linked to a national spike in grocery prices.
"In 2021, the Biden administration rushed through the largest permanent increase in food stamp benefits since the program was created, hiking benefits by an average of 27 percent," the report stated.
The FGA accused the Biden admin of pushing through an "unlawful expansion" of the program and called on Congress to repeal it and require congressional approval moving forward.
"This unlawful expansion — which bypassed Congress — will cost taxpayers $250 billion over the next decade and has heavily contributed to soaring grocery prices," the report continued. "Congress should repeal President Biden's unlawful food stamp expansion and ensure this type of executive overreach cannot happen again. In doing so, Congress could save taxpayers more than $193 billion over the next decade."
In 2022, SNAP spending hit "a record-high $119 billion." The report described the spike as "a sixfold increase over the last two decades." Between 2019 and 2022, the program's spending more than doubled from $4.5 billion to $11 billion.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the food stamp expansion could cost United States taxpayers more than $1 trillion over the next decade.
Jonathan Ingram, vice president of policy and research at the FGA, told Fox News Digital, "USDA cooked their books to hike food stamp benefits by 27% — the largest permanent increase in program history. And they bypassed Congress to do it."
"Data show the Biden administration's overreach led to massive spikes in grocery prices. They're feeding inflation, not stopping hunger," Ingram added.
The FGA reported that, according to the World Bank, for every 12.5% increase in SNAP spending, grocery prices increase by 1%.
Between December 2019 and March 2023, margarine costs rose 59%, eggs 54%, and frozen vegetables 36%, the Labor Department reported.
"Food stamp spending hikes could account for at least two-thirds of that increase. Per-capita food stamp spending grew by more than 90 percent between December 2019 and March 2023 — even after the pandemic-related emergency allotments expired. After accounting for emergency allotments and pandemic EBT programs, total food stamp spending had nearly tripled while those programs were in effect. This suggests food stamp spending increases fueled grocery price increases of more than 15 percent," the study found.
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