In Iowa, Republican lawmakers have put out a plan to prevent anyone receiving government nutrition assistance from using their food stamps to purchase various products, including fresh meat, butter, and bread.
State House Speaker Pat Grassley announced the legislation, known as House File 3, previously this month. The lawmaker, whose grandfather is Sen. Chuck Grassley, said CBS2Iowa that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has to decrease spending to free up money for other priorities.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, a federal organization, provides total funding for SNAP; however, states are responsible for some administrative expenses related to managing the program for eligible citizens.
The Iowa announcement comes as the number of Americans using food stamps has increased due to the pandemic, with 42 million Americans getting them as of October, a rise of roughly 14% before the medical crisis.
Republicans in Congress have increasingly demanded to cut costs by targeting SNAP, including a campaign to require beneficiaries of food stamps to work under the Trump administration.
As Grassley stated to CBS2Iowa, “If you consider the cost if you want to look at an actual economic effect on what things truly are challenging in the cost for public school or private education, whatever it might be, it’s these entitlement programs.” They are the ones that are expanding within the budget and making it harder for us to pay for other priorities.