H.R. 3102, Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013

Cost Estimate
September 16, 2013

Direct spending effects of the bill as introduced in the House of Representatives on September 16, 2013

H.R. 3102 would make several changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and extend its authorization for three years. In its May 2013 baseline, CBO projected that spending for SNAP would total $764 billion over the 2014-2023 period. Relative to that baseline, we estimate that enacting H.R. 3102 would reduce direct spending by $39 billion over the 2014-2023 period. Details of that estimate are displayed in the attached table. The estimate is based on the assumption that the legislation will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2014.

Under CBO’s baseline, we project SNAP participation to decline from 48 million people in an average month in fiscal year 2014 to 34 million in 2023. The two provisions in H.R. 3102 with the largest budgetary effects would change eligibility for SNAP benefits:

  • Section 109 would reduce the number of waivers available for certain childless adults who would otherwise be subject to work requirements or time limits. CBO estimates that, on average, about 1 million people with higher-than-average benefits would lose eligibility for SNAP benefits under this provision. The number of people losing benefits would decline from 1.7 million in 2014 to 0.5 million in 2023.
  • Section 105 would restrict categorical eligibility, a current policy that allows states to determine eligibility for SNAP based on receipt of benefits in other programs for low-income people. CBO estimates that, on average, 1.8 million people with lower-than-average benefits would lose eligibility for the program if this provision was enacted. The number of people losing benefits would decline from 2.1 million in 2014 to 1.5 million in 2023.

CBO has not completed an estimate for the impact on SNAP participation for all provisions of the bill, but we expect that most of those additional effects would be small.

The provision with the third-largest budgetary effects would change benefit levels for SNAP participants. Section 107 would change the treatment of payments for energy assistance from government programs in the calculation of SNAP benefit levels. CBO estimates that provision would reduce benefits for about 850,000 households each year, on average, by approximately $90 per household per month.

Because enacting H.R. 3102 would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the proposed legislation would not affect federal revenues. CBO has not estimated the additional discretionary spending for nutrition programs that would result from implementing the bill; such spending would be subject to appropriation actions. CBO has also not reviewed the bill for intergovernmental or private-sector mandates.