Congress Food

Boehner: States Helping Poor People Are “Cheating”


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.

  • notoriousbob

    The inconsistency/hypocrisy is just breathtaking; this reads like an article from The Onion. Not only does he disagree with a state making a choice to help its citizens, but he’s accusing them of fraud by doing so? Just unreal.

  • D_C_Wilson

    We’re dealing with people who think being poor is a moral failing and if you’re rich, you are by definition, morally superior to those who are not.

  • 1933john

    “Never mind what I told you–you do as I tell you” – WC Fields

  • Ned F

    So, conservatives are upset because states are finding ways around congressional budget cuts to provide for their residents, but not upset about states finding ways around cutting or restricting their citizens constitutional access to abortion, healthcare or voting. Weird.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Not weird at all. It’s horrifyingly consistent.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    “States rights for me, but not for thee”.

    Isn’t it time for someone to give John Boehner something to really cry about? Like a severe face spanking?

    • drspittle

      Or tanning bed restrictions?

  • Christopher Foxx

    but Speaker of the House John Boehner says these states are “cheating” by helping poor families

    So Republicans are really against individual states choosing not to go along with the federal gov’t? They’re strong supporters of strict central control now?

    Seriously, can anyone name a single thing Republicans have done that hasn’t demonstrated their hypocrisy?

    • GrafZeppelin127

      They’ve spent five years freaking out about things they were totally fine with in 2005, and being totally fine with things they were freaking out about in 2005. Few outside the paracosm take them seriously for that reason.

  • Churchlady320

    Food stamp funding was restored fully but on the same level in all states. Yes, it now is up to the 16 states that used the LIHEAP qualification to provide $90 a month or more assistance in order to get over the ‘cheat sheet’ the GOP installed. But everyone got MORE than they had in Nov. 2013. This is a VICTORY for our side – let’s build the momentum for the additional SNAP funds via improved LIHEAP qualification but let’s also use the gain to press for UI restoration, for minimum wage increases – it was largely OUR voices out there that got the Farm Bill SNAP improvement. Shows what we can do when we act together.