(NAFB)--Legislation focused on eliminating loopholes, waste, fraud and abuse would save 30-billion dollars over 10 years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The Streamlining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Act was introduced by South Dakota Senator John Thune and Indiana Congressman Marlin Stutzman. According to Thune - the bill would eliminate waste, fraud and abuse while ensuring a strong safety net for hungry families in greatest need. Thune says SNAP participation has increased at 10 times the rate of job creation since President Obama took office - with one-in-seven Americans now participating in the program. Annual program spending has doubled. He says the explosive growth in SNAP enrollment and the cost of the program is alarming and requires lawmakers to take cost-effective legislative control measures. Stutzman says the measure is a real, responsible plan to save taxpayer dollars. He also calls it a common-sense start for Farm Bill discussions.
The bill would limit the automatic qualification of an individual for SNAP benefits due to enrollment in other low-income programs, known as categorical eligibility to only those individuals receiving cash assistance. In addition - the bill would close a loophole that allows states to send small energy assistance checks to SNAP participants in order to increase SNAP benefit payments, eliminate duplicative training programs and state performance bonuses, improve the quality control measures to ensure states are more aggressively penalized for improper payments and reform the nutrition education and obesity program. The legislation would not affect current benefit levels for SNAP recipients. Instead - it saves money by ending duplicative programs and holding states accountable for accurate program administration.