Ryan proposes streamlining anti-poverty programs

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressman Paul Ryan is out with a new plan to merge anti-poverty programs into a single grant program for states that he says would give more flexibility to distribute federal help for the poor.

Eleven programs would be merged, including food stamps, cash welfare, housing subsidies and heating aid for the poor, among others.

Ryan was the 2012 vice presidential nominee and is a respected voice within his party.

The Wisconsin Republican says the new "Opportunity Grant" plan would impose work requirements on aid recipients and require states that participate to set up at least two service providers. He says that would encourage partnerships with locally-based nonprofits and community groups that may better know the needs of their communities.

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