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Foxx Praises Cost-Saving, Strengthening Reforms to SNAP Program

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Washington, D.C., Sep 19, 2013 | Ericka Perryman (202-225-2071) | comments
"Reforms in this legislation put stronger protections in place to ensure SNAP money is reserved just for those Americans who qualify for food stamps and isn’t wasted on government public relations campaigns or lottery winners. Additionally, consistent with the bipartisan belief that the solution to poverty is found through work, and not just aid, the Nutrition Reform & Work Opportunity Act reinstates Clinton-era SNAP work requirements."
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Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) today issued this statement upon the passage of H.R. 3102, the Nutrition Reform & Work Opportunity Act:

“The Nutrition Reform & Work Opportunity Act is designed to preserve the integrity of the SNAP program for families, and especially children, who rely on food stamps. Its cost-saving reforms are a step in the right direction, and are long overdue out of respect for needy Americans and taxpayers. 

“Reforms in this legislation put stronger protections in place to ensure SNAP money is reserved just for those Americans who qualify for food stamps and isn’t wasted on government public relations campaigns or lottery winners. Additionally, consistent with the bipartisan belief that the solution to poverty is found through work, and not just aid, the Nutrition Reform & Work Opportunity Act reinstates Clinton-era SNAP work requirements. These rules stipulate that able-bodied adults with no dependents, must be looking for work, developing job skills, completing community service or obtain employment to draw food stamp benefits. Not only will this provision ensure that the truly needy continue to receive aid, it will also help these individuals compete and prepare for jobs.

“An overextended, unchecked SNAP program won’t be capable of serving the citizens it’s purposed to help. It is the job of this Congress to ensure the program is held accountable as a steward of taxpayer dollars and safety net for the needy.” 

H.R. 3102 reforms federal nutrition programs to provide for the neediest Americans while simultaneously promoting employment, reducing waste and abuse, and saving taxpayers roughly $40 billion over a ten year span.

Food stamp spending has doubled to $80 billion annually over the course of the Obama presidency. While the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a vital resource for millions of Americans it has become victim to waste, fraud, and abuse. Through the Nutrition Reform & Work Opportunity Act, the House of Representatives is working to protect the integrity of this program.

Legislation Specifics:

  • Reforms SNAP for the first time since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, saving roughly $40 billion over a decade.
  • Eliminates the “Categorical Eligibility” loophole to ensure existing benefit asset and income tests are met.
  • Eliminates the ability for states to waive work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents. States will still be allowed to exempt from work requirements up to 15% of their total able-bodied beneficiaries based on hardship or lack of jobs in a given area.
  • Ends USDA bonus awards to states for administering SNAP.
  • Ensures SNAP recipients are not receiving benefits from multiple states and that previously disqualified recipients do not start receiving benefits in another state.
  • Prevents states from paying individuals low amounts of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds in an effort to allow them to qualify for SNAP.
  • Ensures that illegal immigrants, lottery winners, and the deceased do not receive benefits.
  • Allows states to conduct drug testing on SNAP applicants as a condition for receiving benefits.
  • Allows states to pursue retailer fraud and deter retailers from engaging in benefit trafficking by requiring them to stock at least three of the four major food groups to qualify as vendors.
  • Increases assistance for food banks.
  • Ensures seniors and low-income families have access to farmers’ markets.
  • Continues the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to promote healthy eating habits for school children.
Reauthorizes food distribution programs which provide assistance for Indian Tribal Organizations.
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