House Republicans have begun the process of determining ways to make cuts in the $74 billion food stamp program, which has grown by 45 percent since President Obama assumed office.
The House Agriculture Committee, which oversees what is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, kicked off a series of hearings on the issue even though caseloads actually plummeted by 11 percent in 2014 as the nation’s economy improved.
“SNAP has grown from a relatively small pilot program to the second largest federal welfare program, quadrupling in spending since 2001,” said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), the committee chairman. “Everyone from recipients to taxpayers deserves an efficient program with a clearly defined mission.”
The program, Conaway asserted, has remained largely unchanged over the past 30 years despite “significant changes in the nation’s economy and the socioeconomic makeup of the American population,” leading to what GOP lawmakers maintain is a necessary review.
“We can all agree that no one ought to go hungry in America, and SNAP is essential in protecting the most vulnerable citizens during tough times,” Conaway said. “For many it is a vital lifeline to keeping food on the table. What we don’t want is for this program to hold people back from achieving their potential.”
There exists a role for SNAP, Conaway said, “but we need to have a complete and clear understanding of its mission and purpose.”
Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), the ranking member, expressed no objections to the SNAP review but added, “I don’t think we should do anything,” noting that the issue received a thorough discussion during the most recent negotiations over the farm bill where an agreement was reached.
Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told the committee that SNAP has played a key role over the years in eliminating hunger and malnutrition and warned against wholesale change.
“I hope the committee will keep in mind the accomplishments the program has made and proceed with appropriate caution,” Greenstein said. “The well-being of millions of vulnerable Americans is at stake.”
Food stamps should be OUTLAWED. Before government take over of our rights churches and charities did excellent job. Today people are not responsible and believe it is their right that other people support their actions.
Absolutely correct ! The entire welfare program should be abolished !
It's simple we help the hopeless and say to hell with the hapless sponges that sit on there asses wile we the Tax Payer pay for it , reinstate the work program and a time limit of two years and look at the multiple generations of welfare history, I have seen 2 and 3 generations living in the same house and each one collecting welfair and food stamps but the best thing is stop the illegal amnesty for the illegal Mexicans and take that $1 1/2 billion dollars we would spend on them to set up "Closely" watched to stop any fraud for jobs and educations programs aimed at "Cutting" welfare rolls !.
I agree with you.My mother raised 3 girls by herself on a nurse salary. She told us to never go on welfare or take anything from the state. She would say that when you do that they own you.
Lawrence, I agree too. Food Stamps is just another instance of government taking over the charity business, but worse because it is a wealth redistribution program, which of course, necessitates theft.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY THAT IS HOW AMERICA WAS BUILT TODAY GOVT WANTS TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING NOT GOOD THEN NO FREEDOM FOR ANYONE
THE IDEA OF BIG GOVT AS WE SEE IS LESS FREEDOM WHO WANTS THAT ONLY THE GOVT RIGHT OK. THIS IS JUST A/O GOVT TAKEOVER OF PEOPLES FREEDOM. GET RID OF IT.
The debit cards they get should be FOOD only and not lobster like I have seen in some welfare carts. No cash, liquor and selling them for cash would be a crime and take them off completely. If they keep popping out kids they only get welfare for 2. I know a woman who makes sure she always has 3-4 kids she can collect on. When one approaches the age where she cannot get $$ for them, she pops out another. Also, only CITIZENS get welfare and food stamp. Maybe we should not have to pay for our parks to get cleaned up. Get the able bodied on welfare and food stamps out to work for it.
MY REFORMS FOR FOOD STAMP PROGRAM:
1. ABSOLUTELY NO FOOD STAMPS OR ANY OTHER FREE ENTITLEMENTS FOR ANY ILLEGAL ALIENS IN AMERICA....NO EXCEPTIONS
2. FOOD STAMPS CAN ONLY BE USED FOR FOOD...NO LIQUOR, TOBACCO, GASOLINE, ETC.
3. FOOD STAMPS CANNOT BE EXCHANGED FOR MONEY, OR ANY OTHER GOODS / ITEMS/SERVICES
4. FOOD STAMPS RECIPIENTS , MUST BE DRUG TESTED EVERY MONTH OR WHENEVER THEIR FOOD STAMPS ALLOTMENT IS RENEWED
5. ANYONE ON FOOD STAMPS, WHO IS UNEMPLOYED, MUST PERFORM SOME TYPES OF COMMUNITY SERVICES.......UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THEY GET A JOB....AND ONCE EMPLOYED, ALL FOOD STAMPS MUST TERMINATE, IMMEDIATELY !!!!!
6. IF SOMEONE IS ON WELFARE OR ANY OTHER FREE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS, THEY ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR FOOD STAMPS.
Ralph. No food stamps or entitlements period. Our country was built on hard work and no food stamps and only those that needed it were allotted food. Today many making 40 to 50 thousand dollars are getting help. WHY>
That term has always bothered me too. It also bothers me that the welfare side of the budget is unassailable as well.
All forms of welfare corporate or individual should end.
The short time I worked as a cashier at my local supermarket I saw more people on welfare eat better than I the working person did. There is also two parts to the EBT~Food Stamp~Snap Card! First there is the food only side. Then the same card comes with a pin number and CASH is loaded on it by our Government so one can purchase non-food items such as cigarettes, liquor or fast food items.
The cards should come with their picture on it! This way they can not sell them for cash only! I knew some one that did this! The cards should never be used in the same way as a debit card No CASH!
I also saw a lot of white foreigners come through. Speaking with a strong European Accent! Most likely from Bosnia. What right do these people have to American Tax Dollars? They have never worked a day in America. or paid taxes.
Enclosing I'd like to say I am not a supporter of Welfare by no means. I do believe it should be shut down, However since our government insist on supporting these lazy fools at least make it as uncomfortable for them as it is for the working class. And why can't they be drug tested? I had to in order get my job and at any point can be randomly tested?
As for collecting unemployment I have to prove every week that I did three job searches, attend a resource class, etc.. in order to get my weekly check for money that is collected every week out of my paycheck when I am working. Why make it so easy for them!