This morning I gave a 1-minute speech on the House floor taking on the issue of "fraud and abuse" in the Food Stamp Program:
"Mr. Speaker, today is the third day of my week on the “Food Stamp Challenge.” The Challenge is an initiative where public officials live for one week on a food stamp budget in order to raise awareness about the Food Stamp Program. Three of my esteemed colleagues – Representatives Jo Ann Emerson from Missouri, Tim Ryan from Ohio, and Jan Schakowsky from Illinois – also are taking part.
"Although critics of the Food Stamp Program frequently speculate that it runs rampant with fraud, waste, and abuse, this is simply and utterly untrue. Don’t just take my word for it – go ask the Government Accountability Office. According to GAO, the Food Stamp Program currently operates at historically low error rates. Between 1999 and 2005, the national payment error rate declined 40 percent to an all-time low of 5.84 percent. In addition, there are incentives built into the program so that states are rewarded for low error rates and may be fined if they are underperforming.
"By any measure, the Food Stamp Program is an example of an efficiently-run government program."
Here's a link to the GAO study I mentioned in my speech: