Recently the US Department of Agriculture sent a threatening letter to the State of Maine about their requirement that food stamp recipients show a photo ID. Maine is attempting to curb food stamp abuse by this requirement.
But the entire Obama administration is obsessed with the use of photo identification for any number of tasks. They have sued states for passing laws that require photo identification for voting, driving, entering government buildings and the like.
Now, when Maine is attempting to curb food stamp fraud with the use of photo identification the Obama administration’s USDA has threatened to cut off the state’s funding for requiring photo IDs.
In a letter to Maine officials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the food stamp program, said the state’s law could be a civil rights violation and may have a “chilling effect” on individuals seeking food stamps.
“Any individual who applies for SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] on behalf of eligible household members must be able to access the program without fear,” said the USDA’s letter.
Maine officials rejected the Obama administration’s logic.
“We do not believe that a policy putting photos on EBT cards has a ‘chilling effect’ on their appropriate use any more than putting photos on drivers licenses has a ‘chilling effect’ on driving,” said Maine Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew.
Mayhew added, “The fed’s objective in coming to Maine was nothing more than an attempt to undermine our ongoing efforts to reduce fraud, waste and abuse in welfare programs.”
She added that printing photos on welfare cards was indeed optional, but that only around 100 of the more than 21,000 recipients had declined.
Maine’s food stamp program costs some $360 million per year, all of which is paid for by the federal government. It was not clear if all of the funding was at risk.
Maine is not the first state to require the photos but the federal government set special rules for those states, which also include Massachusetts and New York.