For those of you who have been following this blog since it
began in July you know there are multiple Farm Bills banning those convicted of sexual crimes from receiving Food Stamps /SNAP benefits and they are high on my priority list.
All the different bill versions, originated with the "Vitter Amendment".
WASHINGTON -- When Sen. David Vitter
introduced legislation banning convicted rapists, murderers and pedophiles from
receiving food stamps, the Louisiana Republican suggested convicts had soaked
the system for millions.
says that banning the cons Vitter wants banned would reduce Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program spending by just $5 million next year, or
six-tenths of a percent of overall SNAP spending. The budget office isn't sure
if Vitter meant to ban people who have already been convicted of those crimes
or only new convicts going forward. The latter option, which House Republicans
included in their separate food stamp legislation, would save $21 million over
the standard 10-year budget window, or slightly more than two-tenths of a
percent of $764 billion in projected SNAP spending.
suggested that more money would be saved when he promoted his measure. In a press release, Vitter's
office said Louisiana sent more than $1 million worth of food stamps to
incarcerated criminals in just two years, which would be about 4 percent of state benefits distributed in that
Vitter's legislation doesn't address the problem pointed out in his press
release. Federal law already bans prisoners from receiving SNAP benefits. His
amendment, meanwhile, would ban convicts even after they've served their time,
since it requires food stamp applicants to certify in writing that they've
never been convicted of the listed felonies. The senator hasn't explained why
he thinks ex-cons shouldn't get food stamps.
law currently bans convicted drug felons from SNAP, but most states waive the
prohibition. They'd have no such flexibility to waive Vitter's proposal. On a
similar front, House Republicans want to give states new power to require food stamp recipients
to submit to drug tests. Democrats say they don't like the idea, but aren't
making a huge fuss about it.