David Vitter Pokes Eric Holder With A Stick

If it’s racism to suggest people might have to bring an ID to vote, is it racism to suggest you ought to show ID to use an EBT card? Oh, what fun we’ll have with this one.

Sen. David Vitter, on Facebook an hour ago…

How often do you use a photo ID? I’m guessing almost daily for most of you. This week I introduced legislation to require a photo ID to make purchases with food stamps. With the number of food stamps more than doubling since 2008 and still growing unsustainably – and with the fraud that occurred recently in northwest Louisiana – it’s more important than ever to restore greater accountability to these programs.

The food stamp/Walmart controversy from back in October where a computer malfunction took the limits off EBT cards and set the low-lifes to local a few stores in DeSoto and surrounding parishes (not to mention 16 other states) was a pretty good object lesson in the seamy underside of the food stamp program.

And it’s quite obvious nobody in the Obama administration is serious about reining in the abuse. Making the system easy to abuse is a feature, not a bug – people who regularly abuse it and get away with doing that when the Democrats are in office have a vested interest in making sure Democrats stay in office – and opposing Republicans who might consider putting an end to the gravy train.

This is what’s known as kleptocracy. Vitter’s bill would carve a tiny slice from that pie.

According to Vitter, as the law stands now states have the option to require photographs with the food stamp purchases, but none enforce it.

Vitter said the bill, called the Food Stamp Fraud Prevention and Accountability Act, would allow the state to confirm “that a person is the legal beneficiary of the EBT card. Anyone caught attempting to illegally use another recipient’s EBT card would be banned from the program.”

There shouldn’t be any pushback against this legislation. After all, the White House itself had previously agreed steps must be taken to fight food stamp fraud. In May 2012, just a few months before the election, there was this

That why today, as part of the Obama administration’s ongoing Campaign to Cut Waste, we’ve announced a proposed rule that will provide States with additional tools to maintain integrity in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. The proposed rule will help States identify and prevent fraud by allowing them to request client contact when there are excessive Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card replacement requests by SNAP households. The rule also further clarifies the definition of what constitutes trafficking. These new tools are important because excessive card replacement requests by SNAP recipients may indicate that the client does not know how to use the card properly and needs additional help or training, or that fraudulent activity may be occurring that warrants further investigation by the State. To be clear, we expect most requests for replacement cards to be legitimate ones; however, it’s important that we take a closer look at those cases in which cards are replaced at an excessive rate.

Under our new policy, States can now hold off on replacing an EBT card until the household making the request makes contact with the State office and provides an explanation. The proposed rule provides States the option to require SNAP recipients to make contact with the state when there have been an excessive number of requests for card replacement in a year–a threshold defined by the State agency but no fewer than 4 requests, unless there is sufficient additional evidence of misuse. Previously, States did not have this authority.

Naturally, nothing much came of that. Food stamp fraud is as widespread as ever.

Just as well, though, don’t be surprised if Harry Reid blocks Vitter’s legislation from ever getting a vote. If it makes sense, and it comes from a Republican, Reid doesn’t move it.

And if it has the effect of stopping welfare fraud in an election year? The Democrat Party absolutely doesn’t want any part of it. Watch our illustrious attorney general decry this as an affront to civil rights by the end of the week.

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