House Budget Committee Releases Proposal to Overhaul Poverty Programs
On July 24, 2014, the House Budget Committee released a discussion draft entitled Expanding Opportunity in America. The six-part plan for overhauling federal poverty policies would affect almost every major federal anti-poverty program. The centerpiece is a pilot program that would allow participating states to consolidate 16 mandatory and discretionary federal grants into a single comprehensive Opportunity Grant. The plan also calls for an overhaul of the federal education and criminal justice systems, and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which would be partly offset by eliminating the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) and other grant programs.
This Issue Brief reviews the major components of the draft and their potential impact on states.