Legislation introduced in Congress to reform SNAP

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2013 - Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Rep. Marling Stutzman, R-Ind., introduced today legislation aimed at saving $30 billion over 10 years by eliminating loopholes, waste, fraud and abuse in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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The Streamlining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Act seeks to ensure that individuals who meet the current income and asset eligibility requirements continue to receive SNAP benefits.

The Streamlining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Act would limit the automatic qualification of an individual for SNAP benefits due to enrollment in other low-income programs, known as categorical eligibility to only those individuals receiving cash assistance.

“Our bill would eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in the food stamp program, while ensuring a strong safety net for hungry families in greatest need,” Thune said.

Thune said that since President Obama came into office, SNAP participation has increased at 10 times the rate of job creation, the annual spending on SNAP has doubled, and one in seven Americans now participate in SNAP.

“This explosive growth in both the SNAP enrollment and federal cost of the program is alarming and requires lawmakers to take cost-effective legislative control measures,” Thune said.

Over the next 10 years, Thune said, SNAP is projected to cost taxpayers almost $760 billion.

Additionally, the bill seeks to close a loophole that allows states to send small energy assistance checks to SNAP participants in order to increase SNAP benefit payments, eliminate duplicative training programs and state performance bonuses, improve the quality control measures to ensure states are more aggressively penalized for improper payments, and reform the nutrition education and obesity program.


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