ALG urges food stamp transparency in $80 billion a year program

June 18, 2013, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in support of an amendment by Rep. Tom Marino being considered by the House Rules Committee today that would require the Department of Agriculture to publish a detailed record online of all retail sales in the $80 billion a year food stamp program:

“Rep.Tom Marino deserves thanks from taxpayers across the nation as he tries to bring transparency to the food stamp program through an amendment to the Farm Bill that is being considered in the House of Representatives.

“Marino’s amendment would require the USDA Secretary to publish SNAP (food stamp) sales online in a searchable, comparable format that would enable the public to learn what items are purchased with SNAP benefits, where they are purchased, and the cost of those items.

“Food stamps comprise more than 2 percent of our nation’s $3.6 trillion budget with almost 50 million people using them, costing $82 billion in 2013 alone. In fact, the program is so large that fully 80 percent of the $939 billion so-called Farm bill is actually designated food stamp spending.

“With so much taxpayer money being spent on a program that is exempt from sequesters, or other discretionary budget cuts, creating transparency in how the program is used will help identify reforms that will save millions of dollars in future federal government spending.

“Americans for Limited Government urges the House of Representatives to consider and pass the Marino amendment. The American people deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent.”

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