THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
STATEMENT OF THE VICE PRESIDENT RESTORATION OF FOOD STAMP BENEFITS FOR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS In the next few days Congress has the opportunity to restore Food
Stamp benefits to hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants, including families with children, individuals with disabilities, the elderly and refugees and asylees. The President called for this restoration in his 1999 budget, and I urge Congress to do the right thing and restore these important Food Stamp benefits.
The legislation at hand affects Food Stamps, agricultural research and other important agricultural issues. The major funding source for the legislation is savings from Food Stamp administrative costs, and the President and I believe that savings from the Food Stamp program should go mainly to restore Food Stamp benefits for legal immigrants.
When the President signed the 1996 welfare law, he pledged to work toward reversing the harsh, unnecessary cuts in benefits to legal immigrants that had nothing to do with the main goal of true welfare reform--moving people from welfare to work. As part of last year's Balanced Budget Act (BBA), the Administration worked with Congress to restore Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income to hundreds of thousands of disabled and elderly legal immigrants. Now is the time to finish the job.
I urge Congress to do the right thing and restore Food Stamps to these vulnerable groups of legal immigrants.