Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts has indicated he wants to use the farm bill as a way to target fraud in the food stamp program. Bloomberg makes the interpretation from a statement by Roberts addressing quality control problems within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which the Chairman said “any problems will need to be given a hard look” in the $70 billion program.
Bloomberg reports that the move could endanger the bipartisan support he needs to get the farm bill through Congress. The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing Thursday focusing on misreporting of costs in the program. During the 2014 Farm Bill process, a national payment-error rate was reported at 3.2 percent. A USDA spokesperson says fraud “should absolutely be part of the discussion,” as “fraud and abuse are problems that threaten the integrity of the program.”