WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Nutrition, and Foreign Agriculture with jurisdiction over the federal food stamp program, today rejected a reported proposal by President Clinton to give food stamps to non-citizens, criticizing the President's proposal to expand federal welfare beenfits at a time when Congress' welfare programs are succeeding.
According to Administration aides, President Clinton will propose to extend food stamp benefits to non-citizens in his fiscal year 1999 budget submission. The President has failed to indicate how he would pay for such a major expansion of the food stamp program.
"For the past century, our laws have said that immigrants who are likely to go on welfare should not be allowed to enter the country, and those who do have been subject to deportation. Non-citizens should look to themselves, their families, and their sponsors, not the American taxpayers, for financial support," said Goodlatte, who chairs the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Nutrition, and Foreign Agriculture.
"This Administration fails to understand that welfare hurts people by creating a never-ending cycle of dependency that lasts for generations. Furthermore, it's fiscally irresponsible to use good economic times as an excuse to permanently expand welfare," Goodlatte said.
Goodlatte has long led congressional efforts to reform the federal food stamp program and to end food stamp waste, fraud, and abuse. Last year, Goodlatte's H.R. 1000 - a bill to end prisoner participation in the food stamp program - passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 409-0. Goodlatte has pledged to continue to use his subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the food stamp program, to aggressively pursue food stamp waste and fraud and to further the goals of welfare reform.
Congressman Goodlatte represents Virginia's Sixth Congressional District, which includes Roanoke, Lynchburg, and the Shenandoah Valley.