Last night, radio host Mark Levin interviewed Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) about the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture agreement with the government of Mexico to “help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance,” which includes the US food stamp program.
Sen. Sessions explained that the funding for this program came from a “farm bill” in 2002, which allocated $800 billion over 10 years for the entire US food stamp program – meaning that 80 percent of this trillion dollar “farm bill” program is spend on food stamps, leaving only 20 percent to go to farmers.
Sessions also noted that the requirement, which allowed only US citizens to acquire food stamps, was eliminated in 2002, under President George Bush:
Levin: “Senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama, I have a question. I don’t mean to put you on the spot, I honestly don’t know. I mean, are- what is a Mexican national? And why are they eligible for food stamps when they come into this country?”
Sessions: “In ’96, they said you could not get food stamps unless you were a citizen. In 2004 - in 2002, that was changed, and so lawful-“
Levin: “Hold on now, hold on now. Changed by whom? Changed by whom?”
Sessions: “Well, Congress and part of the farm bill in 2002. By the way, the farm bill costs a trillion dollars over ten years. 800 billion of it, 80 percent, is food stamps. Only 20 percent goes to the farmers directly. This food stamps program has surged beyond anything anybody ever expected.”
Sessions: “One in seven Americans today - one in seven - are benefiting from this program.”
Levin: “800 billion over 10 years for the food stamps program?
Sessions: That’s exactly - that’s correct. It’s almost 80 billion a year now. 17 [billion] in 2000.”
Levin: “Look, I - senator, I don’t understand how in 2002, with a Republican President, how we lift the citizenship requirement and now nationals from other countries qualify for food stamps. This is how these programs go nuts.”
Sessions: “You’re right. I couldn’t - it should never have happened, and we’re seeing now how much damage that has done.”