NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF CONGRESSMAN BILLY LONG (MO.)
Long Votes to Reform SNAP, Promotes Strong Safety Net
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Billy Long voted in favor of the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, which reforms the food stamps program and saves taxpayers approximately $40 billion over 10 years.
“This legislation makes the first reforms to SNAP while promoting a strong safety net. It simply reforms the food stamps program to serve those most in need, while ensuring the fiscal well-being of our nation during these difficult economic times,” Long said.
The Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act reforms the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by ensuring work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents are enforced. The 2009 stimulus act provided a nationwide waiver for the work requirements included in the 1996 welfare reform law.
There are currently 1.8 million people receiving food stamps who don’t meet the qualification requirements based on assets or income because of categorical eligibility. Categorical eligibility allows applicants to bypass qualification requirements if the applicants receive benefits from other assistance programs, whether they qualify or not. This legislation eliminates the ability of individuals to be deemed “categorically eligible” when they do not meet the income or asset requirements for public assistance. The legislation also ends loopholes that allow lottery winners to continue receiving benefits and prevents states from continuing their practice of artificially increasing the benefits of SNAP-eligible individuals by sending them a $1 payment under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
The legislation also contains an additional $50 million in Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015 for funding for local food banks, which will help those in need of assistance in tough times.