Congressman wants reduced food stamp benefits

Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa says he plans to press for a reduction in food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. King now chairs a House subcommittee that oversees operations of the USDA, including the food stamp program which makes up the bulk of any five-year farm bill.

King says he respectfully rejects Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack’s philosophy on food stamps, “The Department of Agriculture’s been advocating to push more and more SNAP benefits out and in doing so the argument that came from the secretary was that for every Dollar’s worth of food stamps you hand out, you get $1.84 in economic activity. I completely reject that economic philosophy.”

King says fraud in the food stamp program needs to be addressed, “One of the things we’ll be looking at is food stamps and the qualifications for food stamps and looking at how the EBT card has been used for, oh, tattoos and bailing people out of jail and other inappropriate uses.”

The USDA stopped issuing paper food “stamps” in favor of plastic (EBT) cards that are swiped at the store over eight years ago.

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit found from 1993 to 2010, food stamp fraud had been reduced by nearly 75 percent. Some 90 percent of American households that receive food stamps live below the poverty line.

King was re-elected in November, defeating Christie Vilsack, wife of U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

~Thanks to Radio Iowa

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