Gibbs Starts Food Fight for Better SNAP Oversight
WASHINGTON, DC – Facing scrutiny over evidence of fraud and poor management, federal officials overseeing the food stamp program were questioned by Congressman Bob Gibbs and his colleagues in an Agriculture Committee hearing this morning. Following an audit and report by Ohio Auditor Dave Yost detailing issues that indicate potential fraud and policies that lead to excessive card balances, Gibbs thanked Yost for his work in identifying ways in which the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can be reformed to guarantee those who truly need assistance are the ones receiving it. Gibbs also grilled officials from the US Department of Agriculture who oversee SNAP and from the Government Accountability Office, specifically on why better audit and oversight procedures are currently not in place.
“There’s no question that food stamps and nutrition assistance is essential for those who truly need it.” Congressman Gibbs said after the hearing. “But after news reports from the state of Ohio detailing food stamp accounts showing thousands of dollars in unspent benefits, we should question whether the program is being run as efficiently and effectively as possible. States, who administer the SNAP benefits, are simply following federal guidelines. It is obvious changes to the food stamp program need to be made at the federal level to ensure long-term sustainability in our states. Shortening the amount of time that benefits can be accessed and requiring more thorough audit procedures at the state and local level to prevent fraud are commonsense proposals so Americans who require the nutrition assistance are the only ones receiving it. I want to thank Auditor Yost for testifying in front of the Agriculture Committee and presenting the findings on how to improve this important assistance program.”
Video of the Congressman’s questions can be found here.