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Graves Votes to Reform Food Stamps

Legislation includes Graves language to prevent fraud within program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06) this evening voted in favor of the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013 (H.R. 3102), which ensures food stamps only reach those for whom they were originally intended.  The bill also includes language Graves authored to crack down on fraud in the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP).

“Because of an underwhelming economic recovery and various loopholes in the law, one in seven Americans is currently on food stamps,” said Congressman Graves.  “What this bill does is restore the original intent of the SNAP program as a safety net for America’s neediest, including children, seniors, and the disabled.  What this bill does not do is kick struggling, low-income Americans off food stamps.”

Today’s legislation included language authored by Congressman Graves to prevent SNAP beneficiaries from purchasing items that require a substantial deposit with their EBT card unless they pay for the deposit by other means.  The provision is taken from Graves’ SNAP Fraud Prevention Act, and was drafted in light of concerns brought to his attention by a grocer in Missouri’s Sixth District, who noticed SNAP beneficiaries purchasing large glass bottles of organic milk and immediately dumping the contents in the parking lot, only to return the glass bottle to the store for a $5 cash deposit. 

“Too often, I hear reports of abuse and waste within SNAP.  Grocery stores in my district have been experiencing this type of fraud for a long time but could do little to eliminate it.  We need to put our foot down and stop this fraud, which costs taxpayers over $700 million a year,” Congressman Graves said.