Sen. Paul Statement on Block-Granting Food Stamps
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the U.S. Senate began voting on amendments to the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, S.3240, also known as the Farm Bill. One of the amendments voted on, and introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, would modernize the food stamp program with a block-grant system that would allow states to determine how to apportion the funding.
The amendment would have saved $280 billion over 10 years and given the states more discretion to ensure those in need are acquiring the appropriate benefits. The amendment failed 65-33.
Prior to the vote, Sen. Paul took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to join him in reforming the broken food stamp system. Below is video and transcript of that speech.
Our system of helping ensure that no one goes hungry in our country is a noble one, but we're now asking to spend $750 billion on food stamps. When we ask this, we need to remember that recently a woman in Chicago faked the birth of triplets in order to receive $21,000 in food stamps.
We need to remember that millionaires, including Larry Ficke, who won $2 million, are still receiving food stamps because he says he has got no income. He has got $2 million but no income.
Amanda Clayton won a million dollars recently in the lottery and she was aghast that she lost a third of it to taxes. She now has two homes and mortgage payments. How can she make it without food stamps?
So we're paying millionaires food stamps. 30 percent of Polk County inmates are getting food stamps. There has to be some reason. Should you buy junk food on food stamps? Should you get to go to McDonald's on food stamps?
It's out of control. It's not about helping those in need. It's about being wise with the taxpayer dollars and not giving people $20,000 a year in food stamps.
We need to give it to only those who can't work, those who are infirm, those who have disease and are not able-bodied, but we're giving it to millionaires.
We're giving it for junk food, and we're giving it to go to McDonalds, and it's got to stop. It's doubled in the last ten years. We do not have an endless supply of money.
I think that Americans would be just flabbergasted at the amount of money, and some of these programs are duplicative, so people getting food stamps for a meal are also getting a free lunch at school.
Some of these programs we're actually advertising for applicants. In my hometown, they advertise to try to promote to get people to come in and eat the free lunch during the summertime.
It's not that we won't help people. We just need to be conscious of how much money we have and can we help only those who cannot help themselves. What I would ask is for some reason the food stamp program. I recommend that we vote for this amendment.