Vitter introduces bill requiring photo ID for food stamp purchas - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Vitter introduces bill to require photo ID for food stamp purchases

Posted: Updated: Jan 30, 2014 10:03 AM
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KSLA) -

U.S. Senator David Vitter wants to require food stamp users to show a valid photo ID every time they use their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

Citing the computer glitch that temporarily eliminated spending limits on EBT cards back in October that allowed Walmart shoppers to load up on groceries, allegedly with no intention of honoring their limits, Vitter has introduced the Food Stamp Fraud Prevention and Accountability Act. 

Vitter says that incident highlighted fraud surrounding the taxpayer-funded program, and requiring a photo ID would prevent future fraud. "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 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."

According to a statement released by Vitter Wednesday, states have the option to require a photograph of one or more members of a household on the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) debit card – much like a photo on some debit cards, however, none enforce this requirement. If a state chooses not to include the household member(s) photograph on the card itself, the Food Stamp Fraud Prevention and Accountability Act creates a mandatory verification step in the purchasing process for SNAP beneficiaries.

A requirement to provide photo ID would verify 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.

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