AGRIBUSINESS: Billions In SNAP Cuts Proposed

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts has introduced legislation to cut 36-billion dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over 10 years. Citing tough times for millions of Americans and the government’s out-of-control spending – Roberts said it’s important to ensure precious taxpayer dollars are getting to those in the greatest need. He said his package includes straightforward, commonsense reforms that have garnered bipartisan support in the past to address waste, fraud and abuse. According to Roberts – we can and should restore integrity to SNAP for those who rely on it while being more responsible to the taxpayer. He said billions in real savings can be achieved without affecting food on the table.

Among other things – provisions in the bill would prohibit lottery winners from receiving SNAP, eliminate SNAP bonuses to state governments for signing up more people for the program than last year and processing applications in a timely fashion, restrict automatic enrollment in SNAP for beneficiaries of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to those who receive TANF cash assistance and eliminate the Nutrition Education Grant Program.

Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern says Roberts’ proposal is the wrong bill at the wrong time. He says SNAP is among the most effective and efficient federal programs – and argues there’s no way to cut 36-billion dollars without cutting benefits. He says cutting benefits would literally take food away from those who rely on it to feed their families. According to McGovern – we should look at constructive ways – like job creation and education – to reduce the reliance on SNAP.

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