Sessions: Food stamp spending up 100 percent since Obama took office

Nicholas Ballasy Senior Video Reporter
Font Size:

The vast majority of federal spending in the Senate farm bill, which is estimated to cost over $100 billion annually, is going toward food stamps, representing a 100 percent increase since President Barack Obama took office, according to Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions.

“The legislation will spend $82 billion on food stamps next year, $82 billion and an estimated $770 billion over the next ten years. So, to put these figures in perspective, and they’re so large it’s difficult to comprehend, we will spend next year $40 billion on the federal highway program,” said Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.

“Food stamp spending has more than quadrupled, four times, it’s increased fourfold since the year 2001. It has increased 100 percent since President Obama took office,” he said.

Federal funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program has doubled since 2008 which accounts for 80 percent of the farm bill’s cost, according to an analysis of Congressional Budget Office and White House Office of Management and Budget data conducted by the Senate Budget Committee’s Republican staff.

Crop insurance, commodities and conservation make up the remaining 20 percent of the legislation.

In 2008 the SNAP program cost taxpayers $39 billion, according to the analysis.

Debate on the five-year farm bill began on Thursday in the Senate. (SESSIONS: Policy, not necessity, drives ballooning food stamp rolls)

“When the food stamp program was first expanded nationwide, about 1 in 50 Americans received food stamp benefits. Today, nearly 1 in 7 receive food stamp benefits,” Sessions said in a floor speech.

Follow Nicholas on Twitter