If U.S. Sen. David Vitter has his way, food stamp recipients across the nation will have to show valid photo IDs when presenting their food stamp debit cards at the register.
Last October, some people using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at two north Louisiana Walmarts tried to take advantage of a temporary computer outage to overcharge on their cards — triggering Vitter's outrage and eventually causing Gov. Bobby Jindal to say the state would look into the matter. Now Vitter has proposed the "Food Stamp Fraud Prevention and Accountability Act," which would require either a photo ID or the beneficiary's photo on the SNAP card itself (similar to the optional image on some credit and debit cards).
In a news release, Vitter noted that states have the option of mandating a photo on SNAP cards, but none are currently doing so. "Using a photo ID is standard in many day to day transactions, and most of those are not exclusively paid for by the taxpayer dollars," Vitter's statement said. "Food stamps have more than doubled in cost since 2008 and continue to grow in an unsustainable way, and the events in Louisiana unfortunately highlight the fraud surrounding the taxpayer-funded program. My bill will restore some accountability to the program so it's not ruined for people who use it appropriately." — Kevin Allman