I voted in favor of H.R. 2112 when it passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 217-203 on June 16, 2011. This legislation makes appropriations for the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Farm Credit Administration. Moreover, it protects human health and safety, supports farmers, ranchers, and rural America, while still fulfilling a safety net for food and nutrition programs.
Georgia is one of the leading agricultural producers in the nation. Therefore, I find it important to promote the growth and further development of the agricultural industry by keeping the proper funding available and encouraging economic growth in agriculture in Georgia, as well as nationwide.
As you may know, the term "food stamps" refers to actual paper coupons that have now become virtually non-existent as the program has transitioned to debit-like electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards. Because of this, the Food Stamp Program has been renamed the School Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The SNAP program is set up to help promote health and fight hunger in the United States. I am a firm believer of a safety net for anyone that has fallen upon misfortunes in society, but I also believe that too many depend on these safety nets for too long. Many abuse the system and become trapped in the deficiency of long-term welfare. This only breeds corruption in the system. Although SNAP developed over the years to be one of the most common federal programs to deliver the proper amount of benefits to people in need, I do believe there is a current need to examine the SNAP program, especially for waste, fraud, and abuse.
More people depend on SNAP now than ever in the history of the United States and we need to reverse that trend. One in six Americans now receives some form of government assistance. In the midst of the soaring federal deficit, we also need to reduce wasteful spending. Decreasing funds to the SNAP and allocating some of the existing funds to nutritional plans can better help those in need for the long term. We must also make sure that states have the ability to implement SNAP.
As you may know, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is authorized by the Farm Bill, which is under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Agriculture. As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, I look forward to re-authorizing the Farm Bill this Congress. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program currently makes up approximately 75 percent of the total cost of the Farm Bill.