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Public Statements

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2007

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2007 -- (House of Representatives - May 23, 2006)

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Mr. BACA. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

We must stop throwing away good money after bad policy. Some States are taking misguided steps in administering the Food Stamp Program and other public benefits. Moving 20 to 50 percent of all cases online or to remote calling centers makes little sense, creating problems for those most in need.

The fact is, disabled, undereducated and minority food stamp participants are losing their food stamp benefit because of these cost-cutting privatization initiatives.

What is happening in Texas is a waste of Federal funds. The Texas State comptroller called for an investigation of the new public benefit system. The Texas State comptroller said that the Accenture contract appears to be a perfect storm of wasting tax dollars, reducing access to services, and profiteering at the expense of taxpayers.

The new eligibility system is a disaster. More than 300,000 children have left the CHIP program. This has been blamed on the contractor's loss of applications, payments that were not credited to the proper accounts, and families who have been improperly denied benefits.

Mr. Chairman, we cannot allow other States to be misguided down the road. If the Baca-Doggett-Green amendment would have been in order, we would have forced States to certify that changes to the application process are not hurting sensitive communities under existing civil rights and disabilities law.

People on food stamps and other public benefits need our help to ensure that new program structures, privatization and other changes do not harm them and do not take away food from the table. That is the purpose of this amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Doggett).

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