WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the House floor today, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) called out a Republican bill introduced yesterday that would let states use drug testing to determine low-income Americans’ eligibility to receive food assistance through SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Congressman McGovern has consistently called for Congress to strengthen SNAP and has cautioned against opening the Farm Bill to make changes to the anti-hunger program.
Click here to watch the speech online.
The full text of Congressman McGovern’s speech is below:
“I rise today to oppose a Republican bill introduced yesterday that would let states use drug testing to determine low-income Americans’ eligibility to receive food assistance through SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
“This is nothing more than an attempt to demonize poor people and has no basis in reality.
“Similar laws in Florida and Georgia were struck down as unconstitutional and only waste thousands of taxpayer dollars to identify very few drug users. In fact, those receiving public assistance actually test positive at a lower rate than the general population.
“Why aren’t my Republican colleagues calling for drug testing for wealthy CEOs and oil company executives who receive taxpayer subsidies? Why is it that they always pick on poor people? It’s a lousy thing to do.
“SNAP is intended to help people put food on the table when they’re struggling to find work, when their current job isn’t paying enough, or simply when they’ve fallen on hard times.
“We should be talking about improving the SNAP benefit so families can afford nutritious food – not creating more insulting hoops for vulnerable families to have to jump through.”
When you can prove to me that none of the recipients use the SNAP credit to supplement their drug habits I’ll agree they won’t need to be tested. You say that only a few abuse drugs, but it does happen, and it sounds like more than you are aware of. I agree with the other persons comment. If I have to get tested to earn the money to fund this program, they should have to be tested to receive it. Its an insult to me that I need to be tested. Like you claim the number of people using drugs in the program is small, so it is in the work force also, and yet, I need to be tested.
If I am required to be randomly drug tested for my job to pay for your SNAP benefits it is more than fair that you should be tested to receive the benefits of my employment.
How else would Rep McGovern expect to get re-elected? He needs to keep the gravy train rolling to his voting base. The perpetual cycle of vote for me get free stuff continues…..