After House Republicans finally managed to cut food stamps, something they desperately sought for over a year, some states responded by increasing heating assistance for SNAP recipients to counter the loss of SNAP benefits.
To you or I that may make perfect sense, but Speaker of the House John Boehner says these states are “cheating” by helping poor families because they’re countering the starvation-inducing cuts his caucus fought so hard for.
“I would hope that the House would act to try to stop this cheating and this fraud from continuing,” Boehner said. “I mean, listen. The American people work hard for their money, they send it here because we impose taxes on them, and they expect us to spend the money wisely. And, we just passed the farm bill, and then we find states finding ways around the law, and, frankly, perpetuating the fraud that we were trying to stop.”
According to Boehner, if you increase one form of assistance to make up for a loss of another form of assistance, you’re “cheating” and “perpetuating fraud.”
It’s not clear what “fraud” Boehner is referring to. Numerous studies have shown that less than 2 percent of SNAP benefits end up in the hands of the wrong people. Furthermore, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) produced a report last month that predicted states could make this maneuver.
States are well within their rights to do this and, moreover, Republicans have long said that states should have more control, not less, over how they help their own residents.
“States’ Rights” is immediately thrown out the window after a state chooses to assist the wrong people. How dare you help the poor people we’re trying to punish.