Rep. Handel Introduces Legislation to Cut Waste, Save Taxpayers $480 Million

March 20, 2018 \\ Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Karen Handel introduced a bill today to reform one initiative within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and save taxpayers an estimated $480 million.  H.R. 5338, the Stop Needless Award Payments (SNAP) Act of 2018, would eliminate SNAP’s “High Performance Bonus Program,” which awards states bonus payments for correcting errors, reducing erroneous payments and meeting other performance indicators.

"We’ve lowered the expectations of government to where we now pay extra just to get the job done right.  We have to set the expectation that services are delivered as promised," Rep. Handel said.  "That’s what taxpayers should expect.  That’s definitely what taxpayers deserve.” 

States across the U.S. receive nearly $50 million in total funds through the High Performance Bonus Program every year.  This distorts the true intent of benefits programs and diverts funding away from Americans in need of assistance.

“Cash assistance, public housing, and nutrition assistance are vital safety net programs, and we should expect these programs to be administered effectively — to best serve those in need and to do so with minimal fraud and errors,” Rep. Handel said.  “I am proud to offer this commonsense reform and continue my strong record of government reform and cutting waste.”

 

BACKGROUND:

In the 2002 Farm Bill, a program was created to pay millions in state grants for High Performance Bonuses.  It was designed to reward states for minimizing payment errors,lowering procedural errors, and meeting other performance indicators. 

Rep. Handel has been a leader in reforms and cutting waste in her private and public sector careers.  As the CEO of one of Georgia’s largest chambers of commerce, Rep. Handel identified long-running financial fraud and implemented reforms and growth initiatives to keep the chamber’s doors open.  When elected Fulton County (GA) Commission Chairman, she inherited a $100 million budget deficit along with a proposal for a massive property tax increase.  Rep. Handel wrote a new budget that made targeted spending cuts and realigned priorities to balance the budget without a tax increase.  During her tenure as Georgia’s Secretary of State, Rep. Handel led an agency-wide modernization initiative while cutting spending by nearly 20 percent.

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