Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has introduced a bill looking to reform food stamps by mending the nutriment options that the program currently provides.
The food stamp program, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), presently provides some less-healthy options, “junk food,” as Sen. Rubio calls it, on the taxpayer dime.
His new bill, the Healthy SNAP Act, looks to “make diet quality a primary objective of the SNAP program,” as 20% of the program’s purchases are junk food and unhealthy beverages, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“This is obviously bad for taxpayers, who are projected to spend $240 billion on junk food, with more than $60 billion going exclusively to soda, over the next decade,” wrote Sen. Rubio in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. “But equally important are the health consequences for those relying on a program that is meant to supplement their nutrition. After all, there is nothing ‘nutritious’ about a two-liter bottle of soda, a bag of chips, or an ice cream cake.”
Not only does Sen. Rubio believe that this bill would be more conscious of taxpayers in the short term, but it would also “in the long run, reduce medical expenses.”
“Such a commonsense reform would promote healthier diets at no additional cost to the American people and, in the long run, reduce medical expenses. It would also begin to address the problem of food deserts in low-income neighborhoods. If soft drinks and sweets are no longer SNAP-eligible, corner stores and supermarkets will have more of an incentive to stock healthier foods,” stated Sen. Rubio.
Rubio is not the only Florida Senator to address the SNAP program and its alleged deficiencies.
In January, Senator Rick Scott reintroduced the Let’s Get to Work Act, which “encourages Americans who are able to work to return to the workforce by ending the current suspension of work requirements” of the SNAP program, as well as establishing work requirements for those receiving public housing benefits.
“For too long, the Left has waged a war on work… Policies put in place during the pandemic to pay people more to sit at home than go back to work are the radical Left’s latest and boldest move to boost government dependency. If we let it go on, it will ruin our country,” stated Scott.
Both Rubio and Scott’s bills are looking to make their way to the Senate floor.