On Thursday, the House of Representatives will likely take up the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013 aka food stamps portion that used to be attached to the farm bill. The bill would cut food stamps by $40 billion over a decade and end benefits for an estimated 4 million people.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the food stamps program in its current form is a unaffordable burden on middle-class families and can be pruned while still helping “those who truly need it.” Enrollment in the food stamps program has doubled and its cost has tripled since 2004.
The cuts amount to a 5.1% cut over the next decade. Or as some might say – an unbelievably small pinprick.
In a statement, Wednesday, however, the White House threatened to veto the bill, saying the “cuts would affect a broad array of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including working families with children, senior citizens, veterans, and adults who are still looking for work.”
You know who else the cuts might affect? “Food stamp traffickers” like Abdullah Aljaradi, the owner of the “Second Obama Express” in Baltimore, Maryland.
A federal grand jury in Maryland has indicted nine Baltimore business owners alleging almost $7 million in food stamp fraud.
The scheme, called “food stamp trafficking,” involved the store owners redeeming food stamp benefits in exchange for cash and splitting the proceeds with food stamp recipients, authorities say. One store owner, who runs the Second Obama Express in West Baltimore, is accused of obtaining more than $2 million in payments for food sales that never occurred.