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Jason Smith on Welfare & Poverty

 

 


Require photo ID when using food stamps.

Smith co-sponsored SNAP Verify Act

Congressional summary:: The SNAP Verify Act: Amends the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require a member or representative of a household that receives supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program) to present photographic verification when using an electronic benefit card for a SNAP purchase.

Opponent's argument against (New Orleans Times-Picayune, Jan. 15, 2014): Some advocacy groups for the poor quickly condemned the Vitter legislation. "Many poor people do not have photo ID's, and it costs money they do not have to get them," said the executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs. "Senator Vitter's proposal will be especially tough on elderly and poor people who do not have the documents needed to get their photo ID, and who will struggle even to get to the necessary offices. They will wind up going without food."

Opponent's argument against (Rick Paulas on KCET, "Food Rant", Feb. 12, 2014): On the surface, the case for photo ID at the point of sale is full of logic. It will finally put an end to problem of food stamp fraud! No more will poor people scam the system! If a person's forced to show identification when they buy groceries, people who shouldn't be using them won't be able to do so! (Sidenote: The main method of food stamp fraud is recipients selling their SNAP for cash, in order to use the money on items that are not food) Since we're using logic then, it only makes sense to ask how many people are defrauding the system. The answer: Not a whole lot. To be exact: A little over 1% of food stamps issued are sold on the black market. But, forcing SNAP recipients to show ID will certainly cut down on this number a tad. But as far as the food stamp ID argument goes, the question remains to be answered: How exactly does the Republican party benefit from fewer Americans being able to eat?

Source: H.R.4006&S.1922 14-H4006 on Feb 6, 2014

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