In a late Friday afternoon (November 9) news dump the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that in August 2012 a record 47.1 million Americans were enrolled in food stamps, also known as the "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" (SNAP). This represents a one-month increase of approximately 420,000 new food stamp enrollees. When President Obama took office in January 2009, 31,983,716 persons were enrolled in food stamps.
"For all the talk of the so-called '47 percent' during the election, where was the discussion about the 47 percent increase in the number of Americans on food stamps in less than four years of Barack Obama's presidency?" Congressman Huelskamp asked. "Unless there is new fraud and abuse of food stamps, the only other reason for this massive increase is a still-failing economy. It is unacceptable and un-American that instead of growing the economy by providing some certainty to actual job creators, the Obama Administration would rather grow dependence on government and expand their political clout with handouts. The Republican-controlled Congress must offer an alternative to the Obama Administration's desire to make Americans more -- rather than less -- reliant on redistributed wealth."
During the House Agriculture Committee's markup of the 2012 Farm Bill, Congressman Huelskamp offered an amendment to bring food stamp spending in line with the House-passed budget reconciliation measures (a total of $35 billion in reductions to food stamp spending growth). The amendment failed during mark-up, but Congressman Huelskamp has stated that if the Farm Bill comes to the floor, he plans to offer a similar amendment.