block grant


Definition of block grant 

: an unrestricted grant made by the U.S. federal government to state and local governments to be used at their discretion to pay especially for social services that were formerly paid for through specific federal programs

Examples of block grant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

With the block grant of federal funds, states could craft their own systems for providing coverage, though with several requirements. Noam N. Levey,, "Republicans outline their latest strategy to roll back Obamacare," 19 June 2018 The block grants would be the backbone of the conservative plan. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Conservatives Make New Push to Repeal Affordable Care Act," 19 June 2018 The Department of Housing and Urban Development last month awarded a $18.5 billion community development block grant for Puerto Rico, the largest single disaster recovery award in the agency’s history. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Justice Department Seeks Ouster of Top Puerto Rico Prosecutor," 16 May 2018 Much of this is attributed to the rigidity of a block grant. Tara Golshan, Vox, "How a Republican plan to fix cash assistance welfare falls short," 25 May 2018 The groups will reportedly propose ending the law’s expansion of Medicaid (the federal program that helps fund health care for low-income Americans) and convert Medicaid funding into block grants to the states. Eric Patashnik, Washington Post, "Republicans are still trying to repeal Obamacare. Here’s why they are not likely to succeed," 13 June 2018 Last year the annual block grant from Denmark was 3.8bn kroner ($610m), more than a third of Greenland’s budget. The Economist, "Chinese investment may help Greenland become independent from Denmark," 3 May 2018 Ward wants Obamacare replaced with a program with Medicare block grants to the states, special insurance pools for citizens with pre-existing conditions and to allow people to shop for health insurance across state lines. Steven Lemongello,, "Congress District 6: Where 6 candidates stand on issues," 13 July 2018 One big reason is because TANF is a block grant to states, unlike the Medicaid racket that allows states to draw down more federal dollars for every new enrollee. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The GOP’s Welfare to Work Pitch," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'block grant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of block grant

1966, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

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The first known use of block grant was in 1966

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block grant


Legal Definition of block grant 

: an unrestricted federal grant

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