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Full text of "Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act (Secretary Mike Espy) : hearing before the Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, on H.R. 529, April 28, 1993"

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MICKEY LELAND OHPHOOD 
HUNGER REUEF ACT 

(Secretary Mike Espy) 

Y 4,M?/f:/03H/ STANFORD 

liBRARlES 



HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE 
HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 

ON 

H.R. 529 



P59-71 



APRIL 28, 1993 




COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE 

E (KIKA) DE LA QARZA, Texas, Chairman 



GEORGE E. BROWN, Jit, California, 

Vice ChcUmum 
CHARLIE ROSE, North Carolina 
GLENN ENGUSH, Oklahoma 
DAN GLICKMAN, Kansas 
CHARLES W. STENHOLM, Texas 
HAROLD L. VOLKMER, Missouri 
TIMOTHY J. PENNY, Minnesota 
TIM JOHNSON, South Dakota 
BILL SARPALIUS, Texas 
JILL L. LONG, Indiana 
GARY A. CONDIT, California 
COLLIN C. PETERSON, Minnesota 
CALVIN M. DOOLEY, California 
EVA M CLAYTON, North Carolina 
DAVID MINGE, Minnesota 
EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama 
JAY INSLEE, Washington 
THOMAS J. BARLOW HI, Kentucky 
EARL POMEROY, North Dakota 
TIM HOLDEN, Pennqrhrania 
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia 
SCOTTY BAESLER, Kentucky 
KAREN L. THURMAN, Florida 
SANFORD D. BISHOP, Jit, Georgia 
PAT WILLIAMS, Montana 
BLANCHE M. LAMBERT, Arkansas 



PAT ROBERTS, Kansas, 

Ranking Minority Member 
BILL EMERSON, Missouri 
STEVE GUNDERSON, Wisconsin 
TOM LEWIS, Florida 
ROBERT F. (BOB) SMITH, Oregon 
LARRY COMBEST, Texas 
WAYNE ALLARD, Colorado 
BILL BARRETT, Nebraska 
JIM NUSSLE, Iowa 
JOHN A. BOEHNER, Ohio 
THOMAS W. EWING, Illinois 
JOHN T. DOOUTTLE, California 
JACK KINGSTON, Georgia 
BOB GOODLATTE, ^^rginia 
JAY DICKEY, Arkansas 
RICHARD W. POMBO, California 
CHARLES T. CANADY, Florida 



Pbofessional Staff 

DiANNE Powell, Staff Director 

Vernie Hubert, Chief Counael and Legislative Director 

Gary R. MrrcBBiL, Minority Stojff Director 

James A. Davis, Press Secretary 

(ID 



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CONTENTS 

Paige 

H.R 529, a bill to amend the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to respond to the 
himger emergency afiOicting American families and children, to attack the 
causes of hunger among all Americans, to ensure an adequate diet for 
low-income people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness because 
of the shortage of afifordable housing, to promote self-sufficiency amon^ 
food stamp recipients, to assist families afifected by adverse economic condi- 
tions, to simpbfy food assistance programs' admmistration, and for other 
purposes 22 

Canaay. Hon. Charles T., a Representative in Congress from the State of 
Flonaa, prepared statement 20 

Clavton^ Hon. Eva M., a Representative in Congress frx>m the State of North 
Carolma, prepared statement 12 

de la Garza, Hon. E (Kika), a Representative in Congress frx>m the State 

of Texas, opening statement 1 

Preparea stat^ent 4 

Lewis, Hon. Tom, a Representative in Congress frx>m the State of Florida, 
prepared statement 18 

McKinney, Hon. Cynthia A^, a Representative in Congress frx>m the State 
of Geoma, prepared statement 16 

Roberts, Hon. Pat, a Representative in Congress frx>m the State of Kansas, 

opening statement 41 

Prepared statement 43 

Witness 

Espy. Mike, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture 49 

Prepared statement 67 

(HI) 



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MICKEY LELAND CHILDHOOD HUNGER 
RELIEF ACT 



WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28» 1993 

House of Representatives, 
Committee on Agriculture, 

Washington, DC. 

The committee met, piirsuant to notice, at 1:35 p.m., in room 
1300, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. E (Kika) de la Garza 
(chairman of the committee) presiding. 

Present: Representatives English, Stenholm, Volkmer, Penny, 
Long, Peterson, Dooley, Clayton, Hilliard, Barlow, Pomeroy, Hold- 
en, McKinney, Baesler, Tliurman, Bishop, Lambert, Thompson, 
Roberts, Emerson, Gimderson, Lewis, Smith, Allard, Barrett, 
Nussle^ Boehner, Ewing, Goodlatte, Dickey, Pombo, and Canady. 

Staff present: Julia M. Paradis, assistant coimsel; William E. 
O'Conner, Jr., minority policy coorcUnator; John E. Hogan, minority 
coimsel; Glenda L. Temple, clerk; Anita R. Brown, James A. Davis, 
and Lynn Gallagher. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. E (KIKA) de la GARZA, A 
REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS 

The Chairman. The committee will be in order. 

Before we proceed, with the permission of the members, we have 
some guests who I would like to introduce to the membership and 
to the Secretary. It's our honor to have with us today, and who will 
be here, I imderstand, for several days, the president of the Fed- 
eration of Swedish Farmers, and he also is the chairman of the 
International Federation of Agriculture Producers, Mr. Bo 
Dockered from Sweden. 

We welcome you, sir, and those who come with you. 

[Applause.] 

The Chairman. We're very happy to have you here and look for- 
ward to further meetings with you while you're here. 

Mr. Secretary, we're very happy to have you again. Welcome 
home. We're always happy to have you come back to our commit- 
tee. 

We meet today in order to continue our ongoing effort to address 
domestic and foreign assistance programs. Our objectives at this 
hearing and the subcommittee hearing immediately following this 
hearing are to review the administration of U.S. food assistance 
programs, both domestic and foreign, and to try and determine how 
these programs can be improved and made more effective within 
the constraints of the Federal budget. 

(1) 



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Let there be no doubt about this committee's commitment and 
my personal interest in tiie programs that help meet the food needs 
of low-income and homeless people here at home and to impover- 
ished and starving people abroad. Regardless of what happens else- 
where in Congress, our responsibility and commitment to focus 
Government resources on fighting himger here at home and abroad 
have always been there. Perhaps we do not get enough credit for 
our efforts to improve our nutrition programs, but it is here in the 
Committee on Agriculture that real legislative accomplishments 
have been attempted and achieved. 

I'm giving eadi member of the committee a list of our achieve- 
ments—the laws that are now on the books that have been enacted 
by the Congress that came fi:x)m this committee, the reports that 
we have had and the hearings that we have had — so that there be 
no equivocation that we have been there, that we have done to the 
utmost, within the constraints of budget, what needed to be done. 
Yes, there is more to be done, and we have to admit that, but let 
no one say that this committee has not achieved, to the extent pos- 
sible, our responsibilities in meeting these issues. 

The focus now is, for example, in Somalia. In the 1970's, the 
chairman of this committee assigned the chairman of the sub- 
committee, who is your present chairman, to work on the problems 
of himger abroad. I went to Somalia before many knew where So- 
malia was. I went to Mozambique. I went to Ethiopia. I went to 
Sudan. I went to the Central African Republic. I went to Chad. I 
went to Cameroon. I went to Mauritania. We went the width and 
length of Afiica looking, and a report was made in 1974. 

I wish to commend my colleagues. Chairman Charlie Stenholm, 
of the Department Operations and Nutrition Subcommittee, and 
Tim Penny, of what we now call the Foreign Agriculture and Him- 
ger Subcommittee, for what they are worlang on and will continue 
working. 

Mr. Secretary, you worked on the Mickey Leland bill, you worked 
with us on the food assistance programs, you worked with us in the 
development of rursQ legislation. It was your legislation for the mi- 
nority farmers and the minority people in rursQ America that was 
put on the books. So we commend you for your continued interest. 
I commend you for your initiative to have forums throughout the 
country and that the first one be on himger. We commend you be- 
cause we have been doing that, and we will continue to be doing 
that. We look forward to receiving fi'om you, Mr. Secretly, the in- 
formation that you will gather at this forum that you will be hav- 
ing and that it will complement all tiiat we have done. 

I have been to food banks in Chicago and New York — ^in the 
Bronx and Brooklyn — and L.A. and Houston. As you know, we — 
and you too— have gone to many areas of the country as a member 
of the committee. We worked with you when you were a member 
of the Select Committee on Himger in the House. I don't know 
what is going to happen in that area, but I can assure you that as 
far as this committee is concerned, we are the Committee on Hun- 
ger in this House. Tim Penny will handle overseas himger issues, 
and I know that he is capable and very able and will be working 
with you. Mr. Stenholm has the jurisdiction of the food stamps ana 



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3 

other nutrition programs, and he also has dedicated much of his ef- 
fort in tbat regard. 

So we look mrward to working with you. The list is here of what 
we have done, lest anyone question whether we have fulfilled to 
the nth degree our responsibility. But the problem is that we have 
not conquered. We have merely made a dent, and the effort must 
continue, and we will continue it. 

An^ prepared statements submitted by the members will appear 
at this point in the record. 

[The prepared statements of Mr. de la Garza, Mrs. Clayton, Ms. 
McKinney, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Canady, and H.R. 529 follow:] 



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8tat«iMt by R^p. Kika «• la oaria (D-Tl) 
ChainMia, Houaa Agrioultura CoBBitttt« 

Couittaa Haaring on Doaaatio and Foraiga rood waada 

and 0.8. rood Aaaiataaoa Programa 

April 28, 1993 

The Committee on Agriculture has scheduled thia hearing to 
renew its on-going and continuous efforts to addraaa domaatic and 
foreign food assistance needs. 

Our objectives at this hearing and the Subcommittee hearings 
to follow are simple: to review the administration of U.S. food 
assistance programs — both domestic and foreign — and to try to 
determine how these programs can be improved and made more 
effective within the constraints of the Federal budget. 

Let there be no doubt about this Committee's commitment to - 
- and my personal interest in — the programs that help meet the 
food needs of low- income and homeless people here at home and to 
impoverished and starving peoples abroad. 

Regardless of what happens elsewhere in Congress, our 
responsibility and commitment to focas government resources on 
fighting hunger here at home and abroad have always been there. 
Perhaps we do not get enough credit for our efforts to improve 
our nutrition programs. But it is here in the Committee on 
Agriculture that real legislative accomplishments have been 
attempted and achieved. 

This Committee has made food and hunger issues a top agenda 
item throughout my tenure as Chairman. Our record is one that I 
am proud of, and I would ask that a staff -prepared statement of 
activities by the committee on Agriculture on food and hunger 
issues over the past two Congresses be made available to the 
public and included in the hearing record following my statement. 

I want to commend my colleagues. Chairman Charlie Stenholm 
of the Subcommittee on Department Operations and Nutrition and 
Chairman Tim Penny of the Subcommittee on Foreign Agriculture and 
Hunger, for scheduling their Subcommittee hearings oi^ hun^g^er 
issues early in the 103rd Congress I look forward to working 
with them and their Subcommittees as we seek to strengthen our 
nation's food assistance programs. 

We are pleased to have with us today the Secretary of 
Agriculture who is here to discuss the Administration's 
recommendations concerning H.R. 529, the Mickey Leland Childhood 
Hunger Relief Act, and the status of USDA*s foreign food 
assistance programs. 

The purpose of the Mickey Leland bill is simply to better 
meet the food needs of low-income families with children. It is 
not a new proposal. In fact, we have passed the Mickey Leland 
bill twice out of this Committee — first in 1990 as part of the 
1990 farm bill and again in 1992 when it was attached to the 



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Family Preservation Act. Unfortunately, in both cases the 
legislation stalled because of the lack of off -setting revenue 
increases or budget cuts as required under the "pay-go" 
provisions of the 1990 budget agreement. 

Today we renew the fight to help needy children. This year 
we have ati opportunity to pasB and fund the Hickey Leland 
Childhood Htjnger Relief Act. With the suppcirt of President 
Clinton and our former colleague, OHQ Director Leon Panetta, we 
now have a President $ budget proposal and a congressional budget 
resolution that provide for the funding of this very important 
legislative initiative. It is my hope and intention to see this 
third attempt at passage succeed. 

This Committee has, to the extent possible and within the 
constraints of the budget sought to respond to the human needs 
that cry out for our attention and compassion. 

But something very fundamental is %n:ong in our economy when 
a nation like ours has more than 26 million Americans — more 
than 10 percent of the population — receiving food stamps. Our 
food supply is the most affordable in the world . . • and yet 
people and children go to bed hungry. This should not happen. 

Our world has the productive capacity to feed all of its 
peoples — and yet we see starvation in Somalia and Bosnia. This 
should not happen. 

Almost 20 years ago, when I was Chairman of what was then 
called the Subconunittee on Department Operations, we held a 
series of hearings that focused on many of the issues we are 
looking at this week: the world food supply, population growth, 
food reserves, etc. 

I was struck by the similarities of the problems then and 
now. My opening statement for one of those hearings back in 1974 
alluded to the "mass starvation that is occurring in several 
countries." 

In 1974, I discussed the problem of U.S. food aid "rotting 
in ports ... not reaching the people for whom it was intended." 
And I talked about the need for developing long-range solutions 
to food shortages and distribution problems. 

Over the past two decades we have done much to improve our 
domestic and foreign food assistance programs. But as long as 
natural disaster economic turmoil and civil strife occur in our 
worldi there will be a need for further refinements in our food 
assistance programs. 

This Committee has done and must continue to do its part to 
ensure that we have properly- funded and sensible programs that 
bring food to the people who need it most here at home and 
abroad. 

« 



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lOffTH COWgREgg 

B11L» Bn aotad Intti Piiblic Lawat 

St«w&rt B< MoXlaaay loa«lttB» Xssi stance Act. H.R. 558. 

Coflunittee od" Agriculture appointed as conferees. Conference 
report filed on ^ane 19, 1987, H.Rept. 100-174. July 22, 1987 
signed into P.L. 100-77. 

Agriculture CoMMdity DistrilnitioB Act of if 87. H.R. 1340. 

SubcoiBiiittee on Domestic Harketing, Consuaer Relations, and 
nutrition held a hearing on Harch 18, 1987 (Hearing Serial #100- 
6, Agricultural Coanodity distribution Act of 1987) 

Conunittee on Agriculture reported to the House on July 13, 
1987 H. Rept. 100-218, Part 1. January 8, 1988 signed into P.L. 
100-237. 

Charitable Assistance and Pood Bank Act of 1987. H.R. 3435. 

Coaaittee on Agriculture reported to the House on Decenber 
14. 1987, H.Rept. 100-478 pt. 1. January 5, 1988 signed into 
P.L. 100-232. 



Hunger Prevention Act of 1988. H.R. 4060, S. 2560. 

Conmittee on Agriculture reported to the House on August 5, 
1988, H. Rept. 100-828, Part 1. Sept. 19, 1988 signed into 
P.L. 100-435. 

Fanily Independence Denonstration Project aaendnents. H.R. 4998. 
Committee on Agriculture reported to House on August 8, 1988. 
H.Rept. 100-840. October 11, 1988 signed into P.L. 100-481. 

Family Welfare Reform Act of 1988. H.R. 1720. 

Committee on Agriculture appointed as conferees on July 7, 
1988. Sept. 28, 1988, Conference report filed H.Rept. 100-998. 
Oct. 13, 1988 signed into P.L. 100-485. 

Technical correction in Hunger Prevention Act. S. 2885. 

Passed the Senate on Oct. 12, 1988. Passed the House on 
Oct. 20, 1988. Nov. 5, 1988 signed into P.L. 100-619. 

Bills Reported; 

Food Assistance for the Homeless. H.R. 177. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a hearing on Feb. 24, 1987 (Hearing Serial if 100- 
1, Review of Nutrition Programs Which Assist the Homeless). 

Committee on Agriculture reported H.R. 177 to the House on 
February 27, 1987, H. Rept. 100-8. 



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Food stamp Family Welfare Reform Act. H.R. 3337. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a hearing on May 5, 1987 (Hearing Serial #100-15, 
Welfare Reform Proposals. 

Committee on^Agriculture reported to the House on October 
26, 1987, H. Repti 100-396. 

Hearings Heldt 

Food Bank Participation in the Temporary Bmergeaoy Food 
Assistance Program. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a field hearing on May 29. 1987 in Sikeston, MO, 
(Hearing Serial #100-16) . 

Quality Control and Fiscal Sanctions in the Food Stamp Program. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a joint hearing with the Subcommittee on Nutrition 
and Investigations of the Senate Committee on Agriculture on Oct. 
22, 1987, (Hearing Serial #100-43). 

Hunger Bmergenoy in America. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition of House Committee on Agriculture, and Domestic Task 
Force of Select Committee on Hunger held a joint hearing on 
February 24, 1988, (Hearing Serial #100-63). 



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IQlg T CQNQR EgS 
Bills Bnaoted Into Public Laws; 

Authorising food ^tamp portion of the Minnesota Family Investment 
Plan. S. 1960 atid H.R. 3744. 

Subcommittei^ on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a hearing on July 11, 1989, Minnesota Family 
Investment Plan (Hearing Serial #101-25) . 

S. 1960 passed the Senate and the House on Nov. 21, 1989. 
Dec. 6, 1989 signed into P.L. 101-202.. 

Distribution of certain meat to charity and public agencies. 
H.R. 2134. 

Committee on Agriculture reported to the House on Nov. 13, 

1989, (H.Rept. 101-348). 

Dec. 7, 1989 signed into P.L. 101-205. 

National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act. 
H.R. 1608. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 

Nutrition held a joint hearing with the subcommittee on 
Department Operations, Research and Foreign Agriculture and the 
Subcommittee on Science, Research, and Technology of the 
Committee on Science « Space and Technology on Sept. 21, 1989 
[Nutrition Monitoring ^ Searing Serial f 101-29) . 

Committee on Agriculture reported to the House on Oct. 2, 

1990, H.Rept. 101-788. 

Oct. 22, 1990 signed into P.L. 101-445). 

Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990. S. 2830 
and H.R. 3950. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held 8 hearings on the Formulation of the 1990 Farm 
Bill (Hearing Serial #101-30 pt 3) : 

(1) Sept. 8, 1989 (Atlanta, GA) ; Oct. 31, Nov. 1, 1989 
(Houston, TX) on the Reauthorization of the Food Stamp 
Program; 

(2) Nov. 15 & 16, 1989 (Houston, TX) on the 
Reauthorization of the Commodity Distribution Programs; 
and 

(3) Dec. 1, 1989 (Houston, TX) ; Dec. 8, 1989, and Feb. 28, 
1990 (Bronx, NY) on the Reauthorization of the Food 
Stamp Program and Commodity Distribution Programs. 

Committee on Agriculture reported to the House H.R. 3950, 
(H.Rept. 101-569 pt. 1) on July 3, 1990, with Title XVII as the 



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Food Stamp and Related Provisions Title. 

Conference Report to Accompany S. 2830 (H.Rapt. 101-916) 
filed on October 22, 1990 with Title XVII as the Food Stamp and 
Related Provisions Title. 

Nov. 28, 1990 signed into P.L. 101-624. 



Hearings Held; 

Review of 0.8. International Review of 0.8. Intamational • 

Committee on Agriculture and Committee on Foreign Affairs held 
a joint hearing on November 1, 1989. (Hearing 8arial #101-32). 

Issues Related to the Reauthorization of Food for Paaoe and 
Agricultural Export Promotion Programs. 

Subcommittee on Department Operations, Research, and Foreign 
Agriculture of Committee on Agriculture and Subcommittee on 
International Economic Policy and Trade of Committee on 
Foreign Affairs held a joint hearing on March 21, 1990. 

Review of the Use of Food Stamp in Farmer •& Markats. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a hearing on Oct. 25, 1989. (Hearing 8erial #101- 
68) . 

Hunger in Rural America. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a hearing on May 17, 1989. (Hearing Serial #101- 
15). 



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10 

IQ2NP CQHgRESg 

Bills Enacted Into Public Law; 
**• 

Food, Agriculture, conservation, and Trade Act Amendments of 
1991. H.R. 3029. 

Couittee on Agriculture reported to the House on July 30, 

1991, H.Rept. 102-175. 

Dec. 13, 1991, signed into P.L. 102-237. 

Exclusions from Food stamp Income, s. 2324. 
Passed the Senate on March 5, 1992. 
Passed the House on March 11, 1992. 
March 26, 1992, signed into P.L. 102-265. 

WIC Farmers* Market Hutrition Act. H.R. 3711. 

Committee on Agriculture reported to the House on June 4, 
1992 (H.Rept. 102-540 pt. 2). 

July 2, 1992, signed into P.L. 102-314. 

Prevent Reduction in Adjusted Cost of Thrifty Food Plan. S. 
3001. 

Passed the Senate on July 28, 1992. 

Passed the House on August 12, 1992. 

Aug. 26, 1992 signed into P.L. 102-351. 

Use of Foreign currency Proceeds. H.R. 4774. 

Committee on Agriculture reported to the House on April 9, 

1992. (H.Rept. 102-496). 

May 20, 1992 signed into P.L. 102-289. 

Bills Reported; 

Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act. H.R. 1202. 

Committee on Agriculture reported to the House on Oct. 16, 

1991, (H.Rept. 102-396). 

Food for Emerging Democracies Act of 1991. H.R. 3556. 

Committee on Agriculture reported to the House on November 
27, 1991, (H. Rept. 102-403, Part 1). 

Communities Making the Transition to Hunger-Free Status. 
H. Con. Res. 302. 

Committee on Agriculture reported to the House on June 29, 

1992. (H. Rept. 102-616. pt. 1). 



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11 



Passed the House on July 28, 1992. 
Passed the Senate on Oct. 5, 1992. 



Hearings Haldt " 

Hffeotiveness of U.8.D.A. in Meeting the Agricultural Meeds of 
Bnerging DoBocraoies. 

Couittee on Agriculture held 2 hearing; September 24, 1991; 
September 26, 1991. (Hearing serial «l02-37). 

Zmpaot of the Farmers* Market Mutrition Aot of iff 1 on Farmors* 
Markets and the Marketing of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a hearing on May 13, 1992. (Hearing Serial #102- 
•1). 

Zmpaot of Regulation B of the Bleotronio Funds Transfer Aot of 
the Food Stamp Bleotronio Benefits Transfer Delivery Systems. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, an 
Nutrition held a hearing on March 25, 1992. (Hearing Serial 
«102-6f). 

Food Stamp Trafficking and the Food Stamp Bleotronio Benefit 
Transfer Program. 

Subcpimiiittee on Domestic HarKetlng, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a joint hearing with the subcoimittee on Policy 
Research and Insurance of the Ccnunittee on Banking Finance and 
Urban Affairs and the Subconraittee on Regulation, B\Jsifiess 
Opportunities of the Committee on Energy and Commerce on March 
18, 1992. (Hearing Serial «l02-74). 

Hunger in America, Its Bf foots on Children and Families, and 
Implications for the Future. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a hearing on Nay 8, 1991. (Hearing Serial #102- 
13). 

Welfare simplification. 

Subcommittee on Domestic Narketing, Consumer Relations, and 
Nutrition held a hearing on June 23, 1992. (Hearing Serial #102- 
84). 



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12 



Congretit; of ttje IHniteb i^tateti 

%ou£(e of i^epre£(entatibe£( 
OlMbington. BC 20515-3301 



HOUSE Of PICE BUICmNC 

WASHtNGTOM. OC 20619-3301 

(202)229-3101 



OPENING STATEMENT FOR REP. EVA M. CLAYTON 
FULL COMMITTEE HEARING ON FOOD STAMPS 

4/28/93 



Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. I want to 
extend my gratitude to you and Congressman Stenhohn 
for holding today's proceedings pertaining to the Food 
Stamp Program in such an expeditious fashion. I would 
also like to extend my appreciation to Secretary Espy for 
participating in this hearing. Recently, I have become 
familiar with the history of the proposed legislation, and I 
am excited that this Committee is responsible for the 
consideration of this bill. 

The issue of hunger has recently come under a 



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13 



heightened amount of attention. The hunger fast of our 
esteemed colleague, Tony Hall, has served to cast 
additional light on this problem. Internationally we have 
witnessed the deaths of literally thousands of people in 
countries such as Somalia due to inadequate food suppUes 
caused in part by warring clans. However, at the same 
time, we are confk'onted with a growing domestic hunger 
dilemma that reaches into the ranks of those who are 
most vulnerable: our chUdren. 

The nationwide Community ChUdhood Hunger 
Identification Project (CCHIP) released m 1991 reported 
that 5.5 million American chUdren under age 12 are 
hungry. This means 1 out of every 12! Furthermore, an 
additional six million children find themselves in families 
that are "at-risk" of hunger because of recurring 
problems of food shortage. These figures are astonishing 
in Ught of the abundance that we find in American 
agriculture. 



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Mr. Chairman, the Food Stamp Program is the only 
program in America that is available to everyone. This 
includes those groups who are most vulnerable to the 
problem of hunger such as the elderly and the young. 
One-half of the recipients of food stamp benefits are 
children, whUe 80 percent of the benefits in the program 
go to families with children. Furthermore, it is the only 
program that addresses hunger in a comprehensive 
manner. Put simply, it is the fi*ont-line of defense for 
preventing hunger in America. 

There are those who may disparage the Program and 
the Mickey Leiand Childhood Hunger BiU. In this regard, 
I say to the leadership of this Committee that I firmly 
stand behind you who support this bill and the hungry. 
We must not accept hunger as a standard in this country. 
The Mickey Leiand BiU speaks to this problem by 
providing basic subsistence to those who are in desperate 
need. 



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Again, I welcome the participants to the proceedings 
and hope this hearing will be useful in casting hght on the 
overall question of hunger in the United States. 
Thank you. 



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CYNTHIA A. MCKINNEY /^^ WASHmOTON OfFICE: 

O 124 C 

COMMITTEE ON AGIUCULTURE 

msTmcT OFnce 

31 tavTMlMCMa Cmnu 

tWTit 

tm CAHeua NOM 





Congress of the Hniteil States 

liotut of KeprtsentadDts 
^uhfngtan, BC 205)5-101] 

April 28, 1993 

Statement of Congresswoman Cynthia A. McKinney 



Thank you Mr. Chairman for having this hearing. I am here today to 
address the crisis of himger in this country, and legislation ~ the Mickey 
Leland Childhood Himger Relief Act - that would help to end this crisis for 
millions of our children. I applaud the Clinton Administration for its 
leadership in developing legislation akin to the Leland Bill, the first bill of 
its kind to be supported by Uie Administration in sixteen years. 

The bill focuses on getting food to poor, himgry children. In 1991, more 
than 35 million people in the United States lived in poverty, more than one 
of every 7 people in this country. USDA data show that families with 
children receive over 80% of food stamp benefits. Over 90% of the benefits 
would go to low-income children and their families. In my state of Georgia, 
food stamp participation rose nearly 15% in the last year alone. In 
January, 1993, over 800,000 people in Georgia had to rely on the Food Stamp 
Program. These figures do not reflect the many others who are forced to 
rely on food pantries and soup kitchens to provide food for themselves and 
their families. 

In a statement issued March 26, 1993, Secretary Espy said an all-time high 
number of Americans received food stamps in January, proving the need to 
take steps to stimulate the economy. According to figures released on this 
same day March 26 by USDA, 26.83 million Americans received food 
stamps in January, a 213,000 increase firom December 1992. These figures 
represent the highest-ever level of participation since the program 
originated in 1964. 

While the Food Stamp Program is vital in providing millions of families 
with much needed food assistance, reforms are needed to strengthen the 
program, particularly for families with children. This legislation, the 
Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act would make those changes. 
For instance, it would raise benefit levels which now provide an average of 
only $.75 per person per meal. 

It would strengthen the child support system by removing an actual 
disincentive for absent parents to pay child support. The bill would exclude 
the first $50 a month received in child support firom consideration as 



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income in determining food stamp allotments. It gives custodial parents 
an incentive to seek out absent parents and gives absent parents and 
incentive to pay child support. AFDC already allows households to keep 
the first $50 of child support paid each month. Excluding the first $50 of 
child support payments for food stamps as well as AFDC will also simplify 
the administration of the two programs and ease burdens on case workers. 

This reform passed the House in 1987 as part of the Family Support Act and 
was supported so strongly by the Ways and Means Committee that it was 
one of the last provisions dropped when conferees has to reduce that bill's 
cost. It passed the House again as part of the 1990 and 1992 Leland bills. 

The bill would index the current $4,500 limit on the fair market value of 
vehicles that food stamp recipients may own. This is particularly 
important to the rural areas of my district and many others in this country 
where people must often travel great distances to work. The current $4,500 
vehicle limit was written into the Act in 1977 and has not changed since, 
despite substantial inflation. The President's Task Force on Food 
Assistance in 1984 recommended that this limit be increased to $5,500 
immediately. 

One of the centerpieces of the bill is a provision that would get more food to 
famiUes with children that are on the brink of homelessness. It would give 
families with children the benefit of the same rules that apply to elderly and 
disabled people whose housing costs consimie an extremely high portion of 
their incomes. These rules are designed to ensure that those paying more 
than half of their income for housing can both pay their rent and utilities 
and obtain a minimally adequate diet throughout the month. 

This legislation is not only vitally important, it is a responsible investment. 
Funding for it was designated in this year's budget resolution, which 
specifically mentioned the Leland bill. I am eager to see this important 
legislation successfully marked up in this subcommittee so that it can 
proceed on its way toward enactment. 

Thank you Mr. Chairman. 



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Opening Statement of the Honorable Tom Lewis of Florida 
House Agriculture Committee - April 28, 1993 

Mr. Chairman, while the intention of reducing hunger in America is certainly 
admirable; we cannot overlook the many problems which exist with the 
administration of the food stamp program. This is especially evident in my 
home state of Florida. 

Last year alone, ineligible payments and overpayment of food stamps cost the 
federal government more than $172 million in Florida. The State's error rate 
soared to an astronomical 18.5%. These numbers suggest to me that the State 
of Florida is wasting too much money administering their program, rather than 
feeding those in need. 

Later today, I will be meeting with Florida's Lieutenant Governor Buddy 
McKay, and I fully intend to discuss these problems with him and get an 
assessment on what the state is planning to do to rectify the problems with the 
food stamp program in Florida 

Let me give the Committee an illustration of the administrative nightmare I am 
talking about. After a gathering of over 2,000 people in the Ocala National 
Forest, a smaller group of about 100 "Rainbow People" stopped by the Health 
and Rehabilitative Services office in Tavares, Florida, and walked away with 
about $6,000 in food stamps. Due to an expedited procedure, all these 
individuals had to do was provide some form of identification and state that 
they were homeless. These two actions alone enabled them to then walked out 
of the office with a handful of food stamps. 



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This kind of problem is magnified by reports that David Koresch was 
stockpiling his Waco cult compound with provisions purchased by his wives 
using food stamps. If this is true, how could they afford to buy enough 
sophisticated weaponry to hold off the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and 
Firearms, but still qualify for federal food assistance. 

I fmd it extremely distressing that children in America are going hungry but the 
"Rainbow people" and David Koresch can easily receive food stamp benefits. 
Mr. Chairman, the Administration's proposal to increase funding of the food 
stamp program by $7.3 billion over the next four years has a commendable 
goal, to reduce hunger. Tragically, given current program inefficiencies much 
of this money will go to waste because states do not properly administer their 
food stamp programs. 

I believe the American people fully support programs to end hunger in this 
nation. However, they cannot support fraud and mismanagement. I look 
forward to hearing from Secretary Espy regarding the problems facing the 
administration of the food stamp program. 

Thank you Mr. Chairman. 



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CHARLES T. CANAOY ..oT i ,„ ,,M»..iy v ..._ 

ttwm iMtmr*. ttomm 0011 Ut-tttl 

QCHMMTTII Oft AQMCUl ryt* , ^^ trnffrTwlMwll AL tiiu i 

'"^!^\^^^«.vmu^»w ConffTtHK of t^t Unittb S^taM 'irJiMMtSf?' 

X^otiie of Eeinreieiitatitiei 
■btftPingtmu BC 20515-0912 



8TATIIIBIT OF TEE ■OMOSABLI CBMtLM T. aaaU>T 

off Florida 

bofforo tlko 

■0U8I MRZCULTORB COKIIZTTBI 

April 2%, lff3 



Thank you Mr. Chalnwa. Mr. Sacratary, I want to join my fellow 
collcaguea in thanking you for appearing before ua today to 
dlftci^sifi the Administration' a propoaal regarding the Mickey Leland 
Childhood Hunger RvXiaf Act (H.R. 529). 

jfr. Aaoretary^ a particular area I would bring to yo\ir 
attention today la the automation of our state s welfare program 
distribution ayatemB.^ hm you nay ba aware Florida has recently 
axperiencfld aevere and costly problems ulth its attenpt to 
automate the diBtribution of Food Stamps,, AFDC and Medicaid. *th* 
state spent $10S million to develop a computer that is Bupposed 
to isprova the services provided to Florida's needy and eldctrly. 
Of that $100 million, over 751 of the planning, design and 
installation money for the system was provided by the federal 
govariiment . 

Unfortunately^ during its first year of operation, the 
computer lost roughly $26Q million dollars because of errors and 
Biemanagement in proifras distribution, 

A General Accounting Office report released in May of 1992 
stated that ineffective oversight of the development and 
installation of automated siyBteinB such as the one in Florida "has 
allowed mil lions of dollars to be spent on systems that either do 
not work or do not meet requirements." "Further, KHS and USDA 
each spend time and money independently reviewing state eye ten 5 
rather than coordinating their reviews^ even though most states 
are developing or operating systems that include all three 
federal progratas , ** 

According to €A0^ examples of this waste and ineffective 
oversight are '•three states spent almost $30 million in federal 
funds before oenoeling projects because of development problems, 
in another caser a state has been unable to implement its $51 
million Bystem because it did not incorporate important user 
requirements into its system design." 



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Pag* Two 



With more states moving toward the automation of systems 
covering Food Stamps and other welfare programs, I am deeply 
concerned that USDA and HHS are not providing the proper 
oversight to ensure new systems accomplish their stated goals and 
that any lessons learned by states previously working towards 
automation will be passed on to states currently attempting to 
improve their systems. 

Mr. Secretary, on April 6th of this year, I sent you a 
letter encouraging the USDA and the HHS to coordinate their 
investigations of alleged mismanagement and abuse of funds by 
Florida's Health and Rehabilitative Services. I look forward to 
your response to this inquiry because I believe that this is 
basic, essential good government policy that will save the 
American taxpayer millions of dollars. Whenever two federal 
agencies provide funds to a single state agency for distribution, 
the two agencies must coordinate their operations and oversight 
to guarantee that there are no overlapping services or costs. 

When two government departments, such as USDA and HHS, spend 
the money that is encompassed by these three programs — in 
FY 1990, AFDC benefits were $10.1 billion, Medicaid Benefits were 
$68.7 billion and Food Stamp benefits were over $14 billion — 
proper coordination and oversight of these moneys must be 
guaranteed to ensure that federal dollars are not wasted. 

I would encourage you to review the May 1992 6A0 report and 
work for the implementation of its recommendations. 



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103d congress 

1st Session 



H. R. 529 



To amend the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to respond to the hunger emergency 
afOicting American fleunilies and children, to attack the causes of hunger 
among all Americans, to ensure an adequate diet for low-income people 
who are homeless or at risk of homelessness because of the shortage 
of affordable housing, to promote self-sufiGciency among food stamp 
recipients, to assist families affected by adverse economic conditions, 
to simplify food assistance programs' administration, and for other 
purposes. 



IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

January 21, 1993 
Mr. Panetta (for himself, Mr. E&ierson, Mr. DE la Garza, and Mr. Hall 
of Ohio) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Commit- 
tee on Agriculture 



A BILL 

To amend the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to respond to the 
hunger emergency afflicting American families and chil- 
dren, to attack the causes of hunger among all Ameri- 
cans, to ensure an adequate diet for low-income people 
who are homeless or at risk of homelessness because 
of the shortage of affordable housing, to promote self- 
sufficiency among food stamp recipients, to assist fami- 
lies affected by adverse economic conditions, to simplify 
food assistance' programs' administration, and for other 
purposes. 



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2 

1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- 

2 tives of the United States of America in Congress a^ssembled, 

3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

4 (a) Short Title. — ^This Act may be cited as the 

5 "Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act". 

6 (b) Table op Contents. — The table of contents is 

7 as follows: 

Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents. 
Sec. 2. References to Act. 

. TITLE I— ENSURING ADEQUATE FOOD ASSISTANCE 

Sec. 101. Families with high shelter expenses. 

Sec. 102. Basic benefit level. 

Sec. 103. Continuing benefits to eligible households. 

Sec. 104. Homeless families in transitional housing. 

Sec. 105. Improving the nutritional status of children in Puerto Rico. 

Sec. 106. Households benefiting fix)m general assistance vendor payments. 

Sec. 107. Helping low-income high school students. 

TITLE n— PROMOTING SELF-SUFFICIENCY 

Sec. 201. Child support disregard. 

Sec. 202. Child support payments to non-household members. 

Sec. 203. Vehicles needed to seek and continue employment and for household 

transportation. 
Sec. 204. Vehicles necessaiy to cany fuel or water. 
Sec. 205. Improving access to employment and training activities. 

TITLE m— SIMPLIFYING THE PRO^^SION OF FOOD ASSISTANCE 

Sec. 301. Simplifying the household definition for households with children and 

others. 
Sec. 302. Resources of households with disabled members. 
Sec. 303. Assuring adequate fimding for the food stamp program. 

TITLE IV— COMMODITY DISTRIBUTION TO NEEDY FAMILIES 

Sec. 401. Commodity purchases. 

TITLE V—IMPLEMENTATION AND EFFECTIVE DATES 

Sec. 501. Effective dates. 

^. 502. Budget neutrality requirement. 



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3 

1 SEC. 2. REFERENCES TO ACTS. 

2 Except as otherwise specifically provided herein, ref- 

3 erences to "the Act" and sections thereof shall be deemed 

4 to be references to the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 

5 2011 et seq.) and the sections thereof. 

6 TITLE I— ENSURING ADEQUATE FOOD 

7 ASSISTANCE 

8 SEC. 101. FAMILIES WITH HIGH SHELTER EXPENSES. 

9 (a) Removal op Cap. — (1) The fourth sentence of 

10 section 5(e) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (hereinafter 

11 referred to as "the Act") (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)) is amended 

12 by striking ": Provided, That the amount" and all that 

13 follows through "June 30". 

14 (2) The fifth sentence of section 5(e) of the Act (7 

15 U.S.C. 2014(e)) is amended by striking "under clause (2) 

16 of the preceding sentence". 

17 (b) Transitional Cap. — (1) Effective on the date 

18 of enactment of this Act, section 5(e) of the Act is amend- 

19 ed by inserting after the fourth sentence the following: "In 

20 the 12-month period ending September 30, 1994, such ex- 

21 cess shelter expense deduction shall not exceed $230 a 

22 month in the forty-eight contiguous States and the Dis- 

23 trict of Columbia, and shall not exceed, in Alaska, Hawaii, 

24 Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States, $400, 

25 $328, $279, and $170 a month, respectively; in the 12- 

26 month period ending September 30, 1995, shall not exceed 

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4 

1 $260 a month in the forty-eight contiguous States and the 

2 District of Columbia, and shall not exceed, in Alaska, Ha- 

3 waii, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States, 

4 $452, $371, $315, and $192 a month, respectively; in the 

5 12-month period ending September 30, 1996, shall not ex- 

6 ceed $300 a month in the forty-eight contiguous States 

7 and the District of Columbia, and shall not exceed, in 

8 Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the Unit- 

9 ed States, $521, $420, $364, and $221 a month, respec- 

10 tively; and in the 12-month period ending September 30, 

11 1997, shall not exceed $360 a month in the forty-eight 

12 contiguous States and the District of Columbia, and shall 

13 not exceed, in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Virgin Is- 

14 lands of the United States, $626, $514, $437, and $266 

15 a month, respectively.". 

16 (2) Effective October 1, 1997, section 5(e) of the Act 

17 (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)) is amended by striking the fifth 

18 sentence. 

19 SEC. 102. BASIC BENEFIT LEVEL. 

20 Section 3(o) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2012(o)) is amend- 

21 ed by striking "(4) through'' and all that follows through 

22 the end of the subsection, and inserting the following: "(4) 

23 on October 1, 1993, adjust the cost of such diet to reflect 

24 103V3 percent of the cost of thrifty food plan in the pre- 

25 ceding June (without regard to adjustments made under 

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5 

1 clauses (9), (10), and (11) of this subsection as in effect 

2 before the date of the enactment of the Mickey Leiand 

3 Childhood Hunger ReUef Act), as determined by the Sec- 

4 retaiy, and round the result to the nearest lower dollar 

5 increment for each household size, (5) on October 1, 1994, 

6 ac^ust the cost of such diet to reflect 103% percent of 

7 the cost of the thrifty food plan in the preceding June 

8 (without regard to ac^ustments made under such clauses 

9 (9), (10), and (11) and under clause (4)), as determined 

10 by the Secretary, and round the result to the nearest lower 

11 dollar increment for each household size, (6) on October 

12 1, 1995, acyust the cost of such diet to reflect 104 percent 

13 of the cost of the thrifty food plan in the preceding June 

14 (without regard to ac^ustments made under such clauses 

15 (9), (10), and (11) and under clauses (4) and (5)), as de- 

16 termined by the Secretary, and round the result to the 

17 lowest dollar increment for each household size, (7) on Oc- 

18 tober 1, 1996, ac^just the cost of such diet to reflect 104y3 

19 percent of the cost of the thrifty food plan in the preceding 

20 June (without regard to ac^justments made under such 

21 clauses (9), (10), and (11) and under clauses (4), (5), and 

22 (6)), as determined by the Secretary, and roimd the result 

23 to the nearest lower dollar increment for each household 

24 size, (8) on October 1, 1997, acyust the cost of such diet 

25 to reflect 104% percent of the cost of the thrifty food plan 

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1 in the preceding June (without regard to adjustments 

2 made under such clauses (9), (10), and (11) and under 

3 clauses (4), (5), (6), and (7)), as determined by the Sec- 

4 retaiy, and round the result to the nearest lower dollar 

5 increment for each household size, and (9) on October 1, 

6 1998, and on every October 1 thereafter, adjust the cost 

7 of such diet to reflect 105 percent of the cost of the thrifty 

8 food plan in the preceding June (without regard to pre- 

9 vious adjustments made under such clauses (9), (10), and 

10 (11), under clauses (4), (5), (6), (7), and (8), and under 

11 this clause), as determined by the Secretary, and round 

12 the result to the nearest lower dollar increment for each 

13 household size.". 

14 SEC. 103. CONTINUING BENEFITS TO ELIGIBLE HOUSE- 
IS HOLDS. 

16 Section 8(c)(2)(B) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 

17 2017(c)(2)(B)) is amended by inserting "of more than one 

18 month in" after "following anj'^ period". 

19 SEC. 104. HOMELESS FAMILIES IN TRANSITIONAL HOUS- 

20 ING. ' 

21 Section 5(k)(2)(F) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 

22 2014(k)(2)(F)) is amended to read as follows: 

23 "(F) housing assistance payments made to a 

24 third party on behalf of a household residing in 

25 transitional housing for the homeless;". 



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7 

1 SEC. 105. IMPROVING THE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF CHIL- 

2 DREN IN PUERTO RICO. 

3 Section 19(a)(1)(A) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 

4 2028(a)(1)(A)) is amended: 

5 (1) by striking "$1,091,000,000" and inserting 

6 "$1,111,000,000"; and 

7 (2) by striking "$1,133,000,000" and inserting 

8 "$1,158,000,000". 

9 SEC. 106. HOUSEHOLDS BENEFITING FROM GENERAL AS- 
IC SISTANCE VENDOR PAYMENTS. 

11 Section 5(k)(l)(B) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 

12 2014(k)(l)(B)) is amended to read as follows: 

13 "(B) a benefit payable to the household for 

14 housing expenses, not including energy or utility-cost 

15 assistance, under — 

16 "(i) a State or local general assistance pro- 

17 gram; or 

18 "(ii) another basic assistance program 

19 comparable to general assistance (as determined 

20 by the Secretary).". 

21 SEC. 107. HELPING LOW-INCOME IflGH SCHOOL STU- 

22 DENTS. 

23 Section 5(d)(7) is amended by striking ", who is a 

24 student, and who has not attained his eighteenth birth- 

25 day'' and inserting "and who is an elementary or second- 

26 aiy student". 

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8 

1 TITLE n— PROMOTING SELF-SUFFICIENCY 

2 SEC. 201. CHILD SUPPORT DISREGARD. 

3 Section 5 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2014) is amended— 

4 (1) in clause (13) of subsection (d) — 

5 (A) by striking "at the option" and all 

6 that follows through "subsection (m)," and in- 

7 serting "(A)"; and 

8 (B) by adding at the end the following: 

9 "and (B) the first $50 of any child support 

10 payments for each month received in that 

11 month, and the first $50 of child support of 

12 each month received in that month if such pay- 

13 ments were made by the absent parent in the 

14 month when due,"; and 

15 (2) by striking subsection (m). 

16 SEC. 202. CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS TO NON-HOUSEHOLD 

17 MEMBERS. 

18 Section 5(d)(6) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2014(d)(6)) is 

19 amended by striking the comma at the end and inserting 

20 the following: ": Provided, That child support payments 

21 made by a household member to or for a person who is 

22 not a member of the household shall be excluded from the 

23 income of the household of the pei^son making such pay- 

24 ments if such household member was legally obligated to 

25 make such payments,". 



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9 

1 SEC. 203. VEHICLES NEEDED TO SEEK AND CONTINUE EM- 

2 PLOYMENT AND FOR HOUSEHOLD TRANS- 

3 PORTATION. 

4 Section 5(g)(2) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2014(g)(2)) is 

5 amended by striking $4,500" and inserting the following: 

6 "a level set by the Secretary, which shall be $4,500 

7 through September 30, 1993, and which shall be adjusted 

8 from $4,500 on October 1, 1993, and on each October 

9 1 thereafter, to reflect changes in the Consumer Price 

10 Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau 

11 of Labor Statistics, for new cars, for the 12-month period 

12 ending the preceding June 30, and rounded to the nearest 

13 $50". 

14 SEC. 204. VEHICLES NECESSARY TO CARRY FUEL OR 

15 WATER. 

16 Section 5(g)(2) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2014(g)(2)) is 

17 amended by adding at the end the following: "The Sec- 

18 retary shall exclude from financial resources the value of 

19 a vehicle that a household depends upon to carry fuel for 

20 heating or water for home use when such transported fuel 

21 or water is the primary source of fuel or water for the 

22 household.". 



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10 

1 SEC. 205. IMPROVING ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT AND 

2 TRAINING AcnvrriES. 

3 (a) Dependent Care Deduction. — Section 5(e) of 

4 the Act (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)) is amended in clause (1) of 

5 the fourth sentence — 

6 (1) by striking "$160 a month for each depend- 

7 ent" and inserting "$200 a month for a dependent 

8 child under age 2 and $175 a month for any other 

9 dependent"; and 

10 (2) by striking ", regardless of the dependent's 

11 age,". 

12 (b) Reimburseiments to Participants. — (1) Sec- 

13 tion 6(d)(4)(I)(i)(I) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 

14 2015(d)(4)(I)(i)(I)) is amended by striking "$25" and in- 

15 serting "$75". 

16 (2) Subclause (II) of section 6(d)(4)(I)(i) of the Act 

17 (7 U.S.C. 2015(d)(4)(I)(i)(II)) is amended by striking 

18 "reimbursements exceed $160" and all that follows 

19 through the end of such subclause, and inserting "reim- 

20 bursements exceed the applicable local market rate as de- 

21 termined by procedures consistent with any such deter- 

22 mination under the Social Security Act. Individuals sub- 

23 ject to the program under this paragraph may not be re- 

24 quired to participate if dependent care costs exceed the 

25 limit established by the State agency under this paragraph 

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11 

1 (which limit shall not be less than the limit for the depend- 

2 ent care deduction under section 5(e)).". 

3 (c) Reimbursements to State Agencies. — Sec- 

4 tion 16(h)(3) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2025(h)(3)) is 

5 amended — 

6 (1) by striking **$25" and all that follows 

7 through "dependent care costs)" and inserting "the 

8 payment made under section 6(d)(4)(I)(i)(I) but not 

9 more than $75 per participant per month"; and 

10 (2) by striking "representing $160 per month 

11 per dependent" and inserting "equal to the payment 

12 made under section 6(d)(4)(I)(i)(II) but not more 

13 than the applicable local market rate". 

14 TITLE in— SIMPLIFYING THE PROVISION 

15 OF FOOD ASSISTANCE 

16 SEC. 301. SIMPLIFYING THE HOUSEHOLD DEFINITION FOR 

17 HOUSEHOLDS WITH CHILDREN AND OTHERS. 

18 The first sentence of section 3(i) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 

19 2012(i)) is amended— 

20 (1) by striking "(2)" and inserting "or (2)"; 

21 (2) by striking ", or (3) a parent of minor chil- 

22 dren and that parent's children" and all that follows 

23 through "parents and children, or sibhngs," and in- 

24 serting ". Parents and their minor children who live 

25 together and spouses"; and 

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1 (3) by striking ", unless one of and all that 

2 follows through "disabled member". 

3 SEC. 302. RESOURCES OF HOUSEHOLDS WITH DISABLED 

4 MEMBERS. 

5 Section 5(g)(1) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2014(g)(1)) is 

6 amended by striking "a member who is 60 years of age 

7 or older," and inserting "an elderly or disabled member,". 

8 SEC. 303. ASSURING ADEQUATE FUNDING FOR THE FOOD 

9 STAMP PROGRAM. 

10 Section 18 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2027) is amended 

11 by striking subsections (b), (c), and (d) and redesignating 

12 subsections (e) and (f) as subsections (b) and (c), respec- 

13 tively. 

14 TITLE IV— COMMODITY DISTRIBUTION TO 

15 NEEDY FAMILIES. 

16 SEC. 401— COMMODITY PURCHASES. 

17 Section 214(e) of the Emergency Food Assistance 

18 Act of 1983 (7 U.S.C. 612c note) is amended— 

19 (1) by striking "$175,000,000" and all that fol- 

20 lows through "1992, and"; 

21 (2) by inserting after the first sentence the fol- 

22 lowing: 

23 "During fiscal year 1994, the Secretary shall spend 

24 $220,000,000 to purchase, process, and distribute addi- 

25 tional commodities under this section."; and 

•HR 529 IH 

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13 

1 (3) in the last sentence by striking "1991 

2 through" and inserting "1993 and". 

3 TITLE V— IMPLEMENTATION AND 

4 EFFECTIVE DATES 

5 SEC. 501. EFFECTIVE DATES. 

6 (a) General Effective Date. — Except as other- 

7 wise provided in this Act, the provisions of this Act shall 

8 become effective and be implemented on October 1, 1993. 

9 (b) Special Effectr^ Date. — Sections 103, 106, 

10 201, 202, 204, 205, 301, and 302 of this Act shall become 

1 1 effective and be implemented on July 1, 1994. 

12 SEC. 502. BUDGET NEUTRALITY REQUIREMENT. 

13 None of the provisions of this Act shall become effec- 

14 tive unless the costs are fully offset in each fiscal year 

15 through fiscal year 1998. No agriculture price or income 

16 support program administered through the Commodity 

17 Credit Corporation under the Agricultural Act of 1949 

18 may be reduced to achieve such offset. 



•IIR629 IH 



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H.R. 529, as introduced 
Section-by-Section Analysis 



H.R. 529, the Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act, is virtually 
identical to H.R. 1202, a bill reported by the Committee on Agriculture in the 
102nd Congress that was later incorporated into the Family Preservation Act 
and passed by the House. Most of the provisions of H.R. 1202 originated in 
the Mickey Leland Memorial Domestic Hunger Relief Act of 1990 as that bill 
was reported by the Committee on Agriculture and passed by the House as title 
XVII, Food Stamp and Related Provisions, of H.R. 3950, the Food and 
Agricultural Resources Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-624; the 1990 Farm Bill). 

Section 1— Short title and table of contents 

Section 1 provides that the bill may be cited as the "Mickey Leland 
Childhood Hunger Relief Act", and sets out the table of contents of the bill. 

Section 2-Reference8 to Act 

Section 2 provides that references in the bill to "the Act" are references 
to the Food Stamp Act of 1977. 



TITLE I-ENSURING ADEQUATE FOOD ASSISTANCE 

Section 101-Families with high shelter expenses 

Section 101 amends section 5(e) of the Act to provide that households 
without elderly or disabled members, for purposes of determining Food Stamp 
Program eligibility and benefit levels, may deduct from income high shelter 
costs in the same way that elderly and disabled households do at present. 
Under current law, households may deduct shelter expenses that exceed 50% of 
their incomes, but this deduction is capped, currently at $200 a month in the 
48 contiguous States, for households that do not contain elderly or disabled 
members. 

Section 101(a) removes the cap for such households effective October 1, 
1997 and makes a conforming change to section 5(e) of the Act. Section 101(b) 
establishes increased shelter deduction caps for the interim period. 

Section 102-Basic benefit level 

Section 102 amends the definition of "thrifty food plan" in section 3 of 
the Act to raise basic food stamp benefits. The thrifty food plan is the cost of 
the diet required to feed a family of four adjusted by household size. The cost 
of such diet is the basis of the food stamp allotments for households. These 
allotment levels are adjusted every October to reflect food costs under the 



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thrifty food plan for the year ending the previous June. 

Food stamp benefits are currently set at 103% of the cost of the thrifty 
food plan. Under section 102, food stamp benefits will rise in increments on an 
annual basis until they reach 105% of the thrifty food plan by fiscal year 1999. 

Section 103-Continuing benefits to eligible households 

Section 103 amends the definition of "initial month" in section 8 of the 
Act to mean the first month for which an allotment is issued to a household 
following any period of more than one month in which the household was not 
participating in the Food Stamp Program, after previous participation in the 
program. 

The effect of this provision is that eligible households reapplying during 
the first month following the end of their prior certification period will receive 
full benefits, rather than pro-rated benefits as required by current law, for that 
month. This rule currently applies to migrant and seasonal farmworkers. 

Section 104-HomeIess families in transitional housing 

Section 104 amends section 6 of the Act to exclude from income, for 
purposes of determining Food Stamp Program eligibility and allotment levels, 
the full amount of vendor payments (payments made to third parties) for 
transitional housing for homeless households. 

The Food Stamp Act generally excludes vendor payments from 
calculations of food stamp income. However, in those states that have shelter 
allowance components within their payments to families under the Aid To 
Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, current law excludes that 
portion of the vendor payments for transitional housing for the homeless only 
up to an amount equal to half of the AFDC maximum shelter allowance. The 
amount of a vendor payment that exceeds the AFDC maximum shelter 
allowance is also excluded. The majority of states have no separate AFDC 
shelter allowance, and therefore the entire vendor payment is excluded for the 
purposes of the Food Stamp Program under the general rule to exclude vendor 
payments. This section would treat vendor payments for transitional housing 
the same in all states by excluding the entire vendor payment from income for 
purposes of determining Food Stamp Program eligibility and allotment levels. 

Section 105-Improving the nutritional status of children in Puerto Rico 

Section 105 amends section 19 of the Act to increase funding for the 
Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) in Puerto Rico. In 1981, the Food Stamp 
Act was amended to replace the Food Stamp Program in Puerto Rico with a 
block grant, the Nutrition Assistance Program. For 1994, the block grant 
funding for NAP funding is increased from $1,091 billion to $1,111 billion; and 
for 1995 it is increased from $1,133 billion to $1,158 billion. 



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Section lOO-Households benefiting from general assistance vendor payments 
Section 106 amends section 5 of the Act to include only general 

assistance (GA) vendor payments provided for housing expenses, but excluding 

energy or utility-cost assistance, as income for determining food stamp eligibility 

and benefit levels. 

Under current law, GA vendor payments are excluded from consideration 

as income if they are made under state laws that prohibit making direct GA 

payments to households. In other states, they are counted as income if they 

are made for normal living expenses. 

The 1990 Farm Bill established the current exclusion from income for 

those GA vendor payments made under state laws prohibiting direct GA 

payments to households. 

Section 107-Helping low-income high school students 

Section 107 amends section 5 of the Act to exclude the income of high 
school students for the purpose of calculating eligibility and benefit levels for 
the Food Stamp Program. Current law excludes the income of high school 
students only up to their eighteenth birthday. 



TITLE II-PROMOTING SELF-SUFFICIENCY 

Section 201 -Child support disregard 

Section 201 amends section 5 of the Act to exclude from consideration as 
household income in determining Food Stamp Program eligibility and allotment 
levels the first $50 a month received for child support, including those 
payments made on time but received in a later month. Under current law, the 
State agency has the option to exclude the first $50 in child support payments 
received by households participating in the AFDC program, but must reimburse 
to the Federal government, from state funds, the value of increased food stamp 
benefits. 

Section 202-Child support payments to non-household members 

Section 202 amends section 5 of the Act to exclude from consideration as 
income for purposes of determining Food Stamp Program eligibility and 
allotment levels any child support payments a household member makes to 
support a child outside of the household, if the payments are a legal obligation. 
Current law provides no such exclusion. 

Section 203-Vehicles needed to seek and continue employment and for 
household transportation 

Section 203 amends section 5 of the Act to require the annual indexing 
of the current asset threshold for the fair market value of vehicles owned by 



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households. Current law imposes the eligibility requirement, generally, that 
households not have assets above $2,000 if they do not contain an elderly 
member, or $3,000 if they do contain an elderly member. The amount of the 
fair market value of each household vehicle (other than those that are totally 
disregarded) that exceeds $4,500 is calculated toward the asset limit. Section 
203 requires that the $4,500 threshold be adjusted, beginning on October 1, 
1993, and on each October 1 thereafter, to reflect changes in the Consumer 
Price Index for all urban consumers published by the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, for new cars, rounded to the nearest $50. 

Section 204-Vehicles necessarv to carry fuel or water 

Section 204 amends section 5 of the Act to exclude from financial 
resources, for purposes of determining Pood Stamp Program eligibility, a vehicle 
that is used by a household to transport fuel for heating or water when that 
fuel or water is the primary source for the household. Current law provides no 
such exclusion. 

Section 205-Improving access to employment and training activities 

Section 205(a) amends section 5 of the Act to raise the current dependent 
care deduction, allowed in computing household income for purposes of 
determining program eligibility and benefit levels, from $160 a month for each 
dependent to $200 a month for children under age 2 and $175 a month for 
other dependents. Current law permits a dependent care deduction when 
dependent care enables a household member to work or look for work, or 
engage in education or training in preparation for employment. 

Section 205(b) amends section 6 of the Act to raise the limit on 
reimbursements to recipients participating in employment and training (E&T) 
programs for costs related to E&T activities. Current law limits dependent care 
reimbursements to $160 per dependent per month and other reimbursements to 
$25 per month per person and requires states to exempt from participation in 
E&T activities those households whose costs would exceed the reimbursement. 
Section 205 raises dependent care reimbursements to the applicable local 
market rate as determined using procedures consistent with those used for 
AFDC EI&T programs. Section 205 exempts from participation in EI&T 
activities individuals whose dependent care costs exceed the dependent care 
deduction. Section 205 also raises the limit for reimbursements for other work- 
related costs to $75 a month. 

Section 205(c) makes a conforming change to the Act in section 16 to 
raise the amounts of E&T dependent care and other work-related 
reimbursements made by State agencies to recipients for which State agencies 
will be reimbursed (at the normal fifty percent rate) by USDA, consistent with 
the increase in such reimbursements to recipients. 



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5 

TITLE III-^IMPLIFYING THE PROVISI ON OF FOOD ASSISTANCE 

Section 301-Simplifving the household definition for households 
with children and others 

Section 301 amends section 3 of the Act to delete a provision that 
requires siblings living together and parents living with adult children to be 
considered as one household even if they do not purchase and prepare meals 
together. 

Section 301 amends the definition of "household" in section 3 of the Act 
to include (1) an individual who lives alone, (2) an individual who lives with 
others but customarily purchases food and prepares meals separate and apart 
from the others, and (3) a group of individuals who live together and 
customarily purchase food and prepare meals together. Parents and their 
minor children who live together and spouses who live together would continue 
to be treated as a group of individuals who customarily purchase and prepare 
meals together even if they do not do so. 

Section 302--Resource8 of households with disabled members 

Section 302 amends section 5 of the Act to increase the resource limit 

for determining Food Stamp Program eligibility from $2,000 to $3,000 for any 

household containing a disabled member. 

Under current law, most households have a resource limit of $2,000, 

while those containing at least one elderly member have a $3,000 limit. This 

amendment extends to households containing a disabled member the $3,000 

limit available now for households with an elderly member. 

Section 303-Assuring adequate funding for the Food Stamp Program 

Section 303 amends section 18 of the Act to delete from the Act 
provisions that authorize the reduction of benefits to households and 
notification to States if the Secretary of Agriculture determines that Food 
Stamp Program funding is insufficient. 

TITLE rV-COMMODITY DISTRIBUTION TO NEEDY FAMILIES 

Section 401-Commoditv purchases 

Section 401 amends section 214 of the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 
1983 to require that the Secretary spend $220,000,000 in fiscal year 1994 to 
purchase, process, and distribute additional commodities. These commodities 
are to be in addition to those commodities from Commodity Credit Corporation 
stocks distributed under the authority of the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 
1983. 

Current law, which would not be changed by this provision, authorizes to 
be appropriated $220,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1993 through 1995. 



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TITLE V-IMPLEMENTATION AND EFFECTIVE DATES 

Section 501-EfTective dates 

Section 501 provides that sections 103, 106, 201, 202, 204, 205, 301, and 
302 will become effective and be implemented on July 1, 1994. Other 
provisions of the bill will become effective and must be implemented on October 
1, 1993. 

Section 502-Requirement for budget neutrality 

Section 502 provides that none of the provisions of the bill shall become 
effective unless the costs of the bill are fully offset in each fiscal year through 
fiscal year 1998. The offset may not be achieved by reduction of any 
agriculture price or income support program. 



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The Chairman. I now yield to my distinguished friend, the rank- 
ing minority member from Kansas. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. PAT ROBERTS, A REPRESENT- 
ATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF KANSAS 

Mr. Roberts. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I also wish to wel- 
come the Secretary to our hearing. 
The subject of our hearing, domestic and overseas food assistance 

Programs, is extremely important. A review of the budget of the 
department of Agricmture certainly demonstrates that fact. The 
1994 budget for the USDA, as submitted by the President, totaled 
$63 billion. Of that amount, $38 billion is proposed to be spent on 
domestic food and nutrition programs. That represents more than 
55 percent of the 1994 USDA budget. 

The administration did submit its proposals for changes to the 
food stamp program as of yesterday. In that package, the President 
has proposed to increase spending on the food stamp program by 
$563 milUon in 1994 and $6,955 billion over a 5-year period. These 
proposals include removing the ceiling on the excess shelter deduc- 
tion, which will cost $2.5 billion over 5 years, over one-third of the 
new spending, resulting in additional food stamp benefits to only 
15 percent of the famihes that are receiving food stamps. Another 
change increases the value of a car that food stamp families may 
own and then increases that amount each year to reflect the 
changes in the Consumer Price Index for new cars. 

Now, Fm raising this issue because one of the themes of the 
President and a bipartisan goal of this Congress was to end reform 
welfare as we know it. These proposals, as far as I can see, do not 
end welfare as we know it. That is a very, very difficult goal. But 
it seems to me that what is missing in this package is a significant 
proposal to accompUsh this goal or, to put it in another way, to bet- 
ter target assistance to the truly disadvantaged and to assist those 
who are able to gain real jobs and employment. 

In fact, the changes to the food stamp employment and training 
program included in the President's bill cost $20 million over 5 
years, or less than three-tenths of 1 percent of the entire 5-year 
cost of the bill. If we are to increase spending in this program $7 
billion, surely we can allocate more than three-tenths of 1 percent 
to employment and training, and I look forward to working with 
the Secretary to see if we can't get fiinding increased for employ- 
ment and training. 

Mr. Chairman, Fd like to include in the record a chart that does 
illustrate the increases in expenditures — ^you can't measure 
progress entirely by expenditures, but in terms of commitment, I 
think that you can at least see that it is a good indicator — expendi- 
tures of the food stamp program since 1979. In that year the Fed- 
eral cost of the food stamp program was $7 billion. Ten years later, 
in 1989, the Federal cost of the program had doubled to $14 billion. 
In 1993, 4 years later, the Federal cost of the food stamp program 
has almost doubled again to $25 billion. 

Over the past several years, as you have indicated, this commit- 
tee has had the food stamp program under almost constant review. 
Since 1981 legislation affecting the food stamp program has been 
enacted every year, sometimes more than once a year, with the ex- 



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option of 1986. The emergen<^ food assistance program, or 
TEFAP, and the commodity mstnbutionjnrograms also have been 
under review by tins committee. In fact, TEfAP was actually initi- 
ated bv this committee. 

So mis committee, under the leadership of Chairman de la Garza 
and Mr. Panetta and my good friend, Mr. Emerson, who has done 
yeoman work in this field, has addressed this issue with full and 
complete responsibility as well as the broader issue of making sure 
that needy families and all Americans can buy food at a reasonable 
cost. 

I yield back, Mr. Chairman, and I ask permission that this table 
be inserted in the record at this point. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Roberts follows:] 



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STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE PAT ROBERTS 

COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE 

REVIEW OF DOMESTIC AND OVERSEAS 
FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS 

APRIL 28, 1993 



THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN. I WISH TO WELCOME THE 
SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO OUR HEARING. THE SUBJECT OF OUR 
HEARING, DOMESTIC AND OVERSEAS FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS, IS 
VERY IMPORTANT. A REVIEW OF THE BUDGET OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 
AGRICULTURE DEMONSTRATES THAT FACT. 

THE 1994 BUDGET FOR USDA AS SUBMITTED BY PRESIDENT 
CLINTON TOTALS $63 BILLION. OF THAT AMOUNT $38 BILLION IS 
PROPOSED TO BE SPENT ON DOMESTIC FOOD AND NUTRITION 
PROGRAMS— REPRESENTING MORE THAN 55% OF THE 1994 BUDGET. 

THE ADMINISTRATION SUBMITTED ITS PROPOSALS FOR CHANGES 
TO THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM YESTERDAY. IN THAT PACKAGE THE 
PRESIDENT PROPOSES TO INCREASE SPENDING ON THE FOOD STAMP 
PROGRAM BY $563 MILLION IN 1994 AND BY $6,955 BILLION OVER A FIVE 



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YEAR PERIOD. THE PROPOSALS INCLUDE REMOVING THE CEIUNG ON 
THE EXCESS SHELTER DEDUCTION WHICH WILL COST $2.5 BILUON OVER 
FIVE YEARS (OVER ONE-THIRD OF THE NEW SPENDING) RESULTING IN 
ADDITIONAL FOOD STAMP BENEFITS TO ONLY 15% OF THE FAMILIES 
RECEIVING FOOD STAMPS. ANOTHER CHANGE INCREASES THE VALUE 
OF A CAR FOOD STAMP FAMILIES MAY OWN AND THEN INCREASES THAT 
AMOUNT EACH YEAR TO REFLECT THE CHANGES IN THE CONSUMER 
PRICE INDEX FOR NEW CARS. 

I AM RAISING THIS ISSUE BECAUSE ONE OF THE THEMES OF 
PRESIDENT CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN AND A BI-PARTISAN GOAL OF THIS 
CONGRESS WAS TO END AND REFORM WELFARE AS WE KNOW IT. THESE 
PROPOSALS DO NOT END WELFARE AS WE KNOW IT; RATHER, THEY 
CONTINUE THE SAME WELFARE PROGRAMS. THE PRESIDENT SAID HE 
WANTED TO REQUIRE THOSE WHO CAN WORK, TO GO TO WORK. WHAT 
IS MISSING IN THIS PACKAGE IS A SIGNIFICANT PROPOSAL TO 
ACCOMPLISH THIS GOAL, OR PUT ANOTHER WAY, TO BETTER TARGET 
ASSISTANCE TO THE TRULY DISADVANTAGED AND TO ASSIST THOSE 
WHO ARE ABLE, TO GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT. IN FACT, THE CHANGES TO 
THE FOOD STAMP EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING PROGRAM INCLUDED IN 
THE PRESIDENTS BILL COST $20 MILLON OVER FIVE YEARS-OR LESS 
THAN .3%— THREE TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT OF THE ENTIRE FIVE YEAR 
COST OF THE BILL IF WE ARE TO INCREASE SPENDING IN THIS 



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PROGRAM $7 BILLION, SURELY WE CAN ALLOCATE MORE THAN .3% TO 
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING. 

WE MUST BUILD WORK INCENTIVES INTO THE FOOD STAMP 
PROGRAM AND MAKE TAXPAYERS OUT OF THE ABLE-BODIED PEOPLE 
NOW RECEIVING FOOD ASSISTANCE. 

IF ADDITIONAL FUNDING IS ALLOCATED TO THE FOOD STAMP 
PROGRAM, AND DESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT AS AN INVESTMENT, THIS 
INVESTMENT SHOULD PAY DIVIDENDS— TO THE ABLE BODIED PEOPLE 
NOW RELYING ON FOOD STAMPS AND TO THE TAXPAYER WHO IS 
FOOTING THE BILL. 

I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING THE COMMENTS OF THE 
SECRETARY. 

MR. CHAIRMAN. I WOULD LIKE TO INCLUDE IN THE RECORD A 
CHART ILLUSTRATING THE INCREASES IN THE COST OF THE FOOD STAMP 
PROGRAM SINCE 1979. IN THAT YEAR THE FEDERAL COST OF THE FOOD 
STAMP PROGRAM WAS $7 BILLION; TEN YEARS LATER, IN 1989, THE 
FEDERAL COST OF THE PROGRAM HAD DOUBLED TO $14 BILLION. 

IN 1993, FOUR YEARS LATER, THE FEDERAL COST OF THE FOOD 



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STAMP PROGRAM HAS ALMOST DOUBLED AGAIN-TO $25 BILLION. 

OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS THIS COMMITTEE HAS HAD THE 
FOOD STAMP PROGRAM UNDER ALMOST CONSTANT REVIEW. SINCE 1981, 
LEGISLATION AFFECTING THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM HAS BEEN 
ENACTED EVERY YEAR, AND SOMETIMES MORE THAN ONCE A YEAR, 
WITH THE EXCEPTION OF 1986. THE EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE 
PROGRAM (TEFAP) AND COMMODITY DISTRIBUTION PROGRAMS ALSO 
HAVE BEEN UNDER REVIEW BY THIS COMMITTEE-IN FACT, TEFAP WAS 
INITIATED BY THIS COMMITTEE. 

THIS COMMITTEE, UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THE CHAIRMAN, 
MR. PANETTA AND MR. EMERSON, HAS ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE WITH 
FULL AND COMPLETE RESPONSIBILITY, AS WELL AS THE BROADER ISSUE 
OF MAKING SURE THAT NEEDY FAMILIES, AND ALL AMERICANS, CAN 
BUY FOOD AT A REASONABLE COST. 

THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN. 

(Attachroents follow:) 



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CRS-22 



TABLE lA. Recent Total Food Stamp Act Expenditures: 
Current Dollars, Including Puerto Rico 

(in millions) 



Fiscal year 



Benefits** 
(Federal) 



Administration* 



Federal 



State and 
local 



Total 



1979 $ 6,480 $ 515 $ 388 $ 7,383 

1980 8,685 503 375 9,563 

1981 10,630 678 504 11,812 

1982 10,408 709 657 11,674 

1983 11,955 778 612 13,345 

1984 11,499 971 805 13,275 

1985 11,556 1,043 871 13,470 

1986 11,415 1,113 935 13,463 

1987 11,344 1,195 996 13,535 

1988 11,999 1,290 1,080 14,369 

1989 12,483 1,332 1,101 14,916 

1990 15,090 1,422 1,174 17,686 

1991 (estimated) . . . 18,249 1,516 1^247 21,012 

'Includes all Federal administrative coets associated with the Food Stamp program and 
Puerto Rico's block grant: Federal matching for administrative and employment and training 
program expenses and direct Federal administrative costs. Figures for Federal administrative 
costs beginning with fiscal year 19S9 include thoee paid out of the food stamp appropriation, 
Puerto Rico's block grant, and the food stamp f>ortion of a separate FNS appropriation for food 
program administration. Figures for earlier years also incorporate estimates ($lS-$20 million a 
year) of food stamp-related Federal administrative expenses paid out of other Agriculture 
Department accounts (e.g., the OfTice of the Inspector General). 

State and local coets are estimated based on the known Federal shares and represent an 
estimate of all administrative expenses of States and other jurisdictions (including Puerto Rico). 

deludes all benefit coets associated with the Food Stamp program and Puerto Rico's block 
grant. The benefit amounte shown in the Uble reflect small downward acljustments for 
overpayments collected from recipiente. Figures reflect both changes in benefite and numbers of 
recipients and, for Puerto Rico, include amounte spent on agricultural and wage subsidy projecte. 



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OSM FOOD ASSISTANCE PROCRAM* 



EBfififi^ 


DATE OP 
ENACTMBMT 


FY 
12M 


FY 


FY 
1222 


FY 

1221 1/ 




1962 




, . . .in Billion 


dollars , 

23,470 1/ 




Food StaiBDa 


9,191 


16,465 1/ 


25,121 1/ 


CTiild Nutrition 












School Lunch 


1946 


2,104 


3,230 


3,870 


4,131 


School Breakfast 


1966 


250 


591.5 


801 


891 


Special Milk 


1955 


157 


22 


22 


20 



Comnodities for School 
Programs, Including bonus 
and Section 32 

Sumner Food 1969 



Child Care Food 



1968 



?<vitritignal SMPPlg^gntg fpr 
Wgffign. Inf?>ntg. and Chil<argn 



944 

89 

214 



568.1 
163.5 
803.9 



WIC 


1972 


736 


2,129 


CSFP 


1969 


22 


72.9 2/ 


Elderly Feeding 


1965 


72 


143.4 


Conpc><llt4e9 Ppn^tions 






Food Distribution 
Programs 


1936 


34 


68.3 


Charitable 
Institutions 


1973 


70 


66.3 


TEFAP (including 
bonus) 


1981 




288.3 


Soup Kitchens 
and Food Banks 


1989 




39.4 



725 

203 

1,090 



TOTALS 



$13,883 $24,651.6 



83.5 
101 
254 

32 
$33,594.5 



747 

230 

1,327 



2,673 2,974 
118 2/ 117 2/ 
152 143 



83.5 
101 
320 2/ 

32 
$36,237.5 



1/ Includes Puerto Rico block grant, excludes $10. 8m to APHIS for tick 

eradication 
2/ Includes Elderly Pilot Projects and bonus donations 
V Includes $42. 3m from Farm Credit Security Act 
1/ FY93 estimate includes stimulus funding requests as follows: WIC-f$75m; 

TEFAP^$23m; CACFP^$5m; and, Commodities^$3m 
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (March 1993) 



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49 

The Chairman. The Secretary has informed me that he brought 
with him Ms. O'Neil and Mr. Braley, who are the eroerts in the 
area we will be addressing. I would remind the members we will 
be working on the time of arrival, as is our practice. 

Mr. Secretary, ifs always a pleasure and, I might say, an honor 
for us to have the distinguished Secretary of Agriculture, Mike 
Espy. 

STATEMENT OF MIKE ESPY, SECRETARY, U.S. DEPARTMENT 
OF AGRICULTURE, ACCOMPANIED BY BONNY O^^IL, ACT- 
ING DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, FOOD STAMP PROGRAA^ 
GEORGE BRALEY, ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY, FOOD 
AND CONSUMER SERVICES; AND CHRIS GOLDTHWATT, ACT- 
ING GENERAL SALES MANAGER 

Secretary Espy. Mr. Chairman, it is also an honor and a privi- 
lege for me to return to this committee. Thank you for your hard 
work on this issue, and to you and to Mr. Roberts and also to Mr. 
Stenholm and Mr. Penny, both of whom have a subcommittee with 
direct jurisdiction over the matter that we're discussing today. I 
want to tell you again what a pleasure it is for me to return here 
to talk with so many of my friends and former colleagues that I've 
worked with on hunger issues in the past. 

Mr. Chairman, I understand that rm the first Secretary of Agri- 
culture to ever address this committee on our effort to seek 
antihunger legislation. I think that demonstrates not only my per- 
sonal commitment to this issue, to the issue of eliminating hunger, 
but also it demonstrates the commitment of this Clinton adminis- 
tration. 

It's a pleasure for me to comment on this long-overdue legislation 
named in honor of my beloved friend, the late Mickey Leland, from 
your State of Texas. Just yesterday I signed and delivered to the 
Congress the administration's legislative proposal for the food 
stamp program. We are very proud of the comprehensive package 
that we've submitted, and I'm certainly here to support that pack- 
age. 

Mr. Chairman, I'm here to comment on it in a way of simunary. 
We have many, many experts here, and two of them are sitting be- 
side me: Ms. Bonny O'Neil, the Acting Deputy Administrator of the 
Food Stamp Program, and Mr. George Braley, the Acting Assistant 
Secretary for Food and Consumer Services. We have Mr. Chris 
Goldthwait, who many of you know. Chris has worked a long time 
in the USDA, and he presently serves as Acting General Sales 
Manager. We also have Ellen Haas, who, if and when confirmed in 
a few days, will be the permanent Assistant Secretary for that 
same division. Food and Consumer Services. And we have Mr. 
Frank Vacca, who is also here today, who, when confirmed, will be 
the Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations. 

So we've got a big team here today, and I'd like to move forward 
by simunanzing this very comprehensive bill, and then asking 
those who are with me today to share answers to questions that 
you might have. 

Let me also introduce, though. Reverend Larry Jones, who we 
had lunch with today, Mr. Chairman, and who has agreed to join 
us on the screening committee for the hunger forums that you 



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mentioned in your opening statement. Of course, everyone's famil- 
iar with Reverend Jones by way of TV and by wav of his long his- 
tory in ameliorating conditions of him^er in die United States and 
throughout the world as director ana chairman and czar of his 
Feed the Children organization. 

I'd like to also recognize the lon^tanding leadership of you, Mr. 
Chairman, on the issue of alleviatmg hunger in the United States 
and overseas, and I do look forward to working with Congressmen 
Stenholm and Penny on these issues as well as my good friend 
from Missouri, Mr. Emerson, who IVe worked with many years on 
the issues of one-stop shopping and EBT reform and the uke. 

Last, rd also be very, very remiss if I did not mention the role 
of our 0MB Director, Leon Panetta, as a leader in shaping our Na- 
tion's food assistance programs that benefit millions of low-income 
individuals in desperate need. So this bill today not only has the 
imprimatur of the 0MB from a policy and a fiscal standpoint, but 
fix)m his yeoman's work as a member of this committee, Mr. Cnair- 
man, we know that we have the stamp of Leon Panetta's heart on 
this bill as well. 

Our comprehensive food stamp legislation is an investment in 
the future of our Nation, and in my opinion, Mr. Chairman, it is 
an investment that is long overdue. Today we have a tra^c situa- 
tion due to poverty and hunger that continues to exist within our 
powerful Nation. In the richest country on the face of God's Earth, 
we have 35.7 million people living in poverty, according to the lat- 
est statistics, and 21.8 percent of our children, more than one in 
five, grow up in conditions of eirtreme poverty. So today we are an- 
nouncing yet another all-time high in food stamp participation. 

Last February, Mr. Chairman, we announced a record-setting 
level of 26.9 mUhon Americans who received food stamps in Feb- 
ruary of 1993, and that's about 1.5 million more than February of 
1992, so we have an unprecedented need for food and certainly an 
obvious need for participation in this particular bill. This is a bill 
that is bold. It addresses a problem that we have existing in Amer- 
ica today, but it also has a number of changes in management and 
administration, and it also addresses existing and persistent ques- 
tions of fraud and enforcement. 

Mr. Chairman, 1 out of 10 people receive food stamps, and these 
people live in households with gross incomes at or below 130 per- 
cent of the poverty line, which, as you know, is about $14,350 a 
vear for a family of four. Eight in 10 of every food stamp recipient 
has children or elderly wiuiin their family, and tliey receive a 
monthly benefit that averages about $68 per person. Thatfs about 
$2.25 per day, or 75 cents a meal, per person. So this is not some 
bonanza that we are here asking for today. 

We think this bill is necessary so that the next generation of 
Americans will not have to decide whether to heat their homes or 
to pav their rent or to feed their children. We endorse this bill so 
that basic benefit levels can ensure that people can still buy an 
adequate, though inexpensive, diet at the end of the year as well 
as at the beginning of the year. We would like you to consider this 
bill favorably so that people won't have to sell their cars to receive 
food stamps in addition to the time that they're trying to look for 
work, so that people paying and receiving child support are encour- 



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aged to do so rather than discouraged to do so, and that these and 
omer provisions of our bill will ease the burden of lingering eco- 
nomic problems that face families throughout our Nation today. 

Mr. Chairman, I'm also pleased to point out that all of the provi- 
sions of our bill are fully effective by the second year, fiscal year 
1995, so tliat there are no hidden costs in the outyears. So this 
could be referred to as a truth-in-budgeting bill. Also, the cost of 
this bill falls within the House concurrent budget resolution, so we 
believe that we can afiford it. 

The legislation that we have submitted recognizes the past work 
of this committee. As you have pointed out in your opening re- 
marks, the Mickey Leland antihunger assistance bill has passed 
this committee and indeed has passed the House of Representa- 
tives two times before. But in this bill we have included several 
new ideas regarding the promotion of self-suf&ciency and to provide 
an assurance to the American people Hiat the program will be well- 
managed and as firee of abuse as himianly possible. 

In addition to our continued commitment to expansion of the 
EBT, which is electronic benefits transfer, we have put before you 
a nimiber of specific proposals which will enhance program integ- 
rity. We've also presented a nimiber of items which will result in 
proper savings, we should resolve today that this opportunity to in- 
vest in our Nation's fiiture should not pass without our talong ac- 
tion. 

Before I conclude, Mr. Chairman, since the text of my comments 
have been included in the record, I'd like to just hit on three items 
that I know this committee remains or has a substantial interest 
in: The area of international food assistance, the area of antifiraud 
and enforcement, and, last, an area that Fve worked on, the area 
of self-suf&ciency or empowerment and attempting to help Ameri- 
cans get off fooQ stamps and on the road of mdependence. Ill do 
so very briefly. 

In the area of international food assistance, the United States 
contributes over one-half of the world's food aid, and this will 
amount to over 10 million metric tons in fiscal year 1993. Of this, 
the USDA programs a little more than one-half and AID a little 
less than one-haU" in most years. USDA manages three food aid 
programs. These include the Public Law 480, title I, which will pro- 
vide over 2.5 million tons of assistance in fiscal year 1993; section 
416, under which we will provide nearly 2 million tons; and FFP, 
food for progress, which has been in vogue of late, under which we 
will also provide roughly 2 million tons this fiscal year, not includ- 
ing shipments under the special food for progress credit program 
for Russia. We also attempt to meet food needs in many areas of 
Afiica and in the crisis areas of the former Soviet Union. 

In the area of self-suf&ciency, we need to encoura^ those who 
can to prepare themselves to become self-suf&cient citizens who are 
able to provide for their families without reliance on the food stamp 
program or other public assistance. I am pleased to recommend to 
this committee a nimiber of initiatives which move toward this 
worthy goal. 

The fist of these initiatives is one that many of you have heard 
me talk about in my entire service in this great institution. It 
would autliorize us to test allowing a limited nimiber of families 



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who have ahready qualified for food stamps to set aside in special 
savings accounts money to help them seek future independence 
through education, training, or purchase of equipment related to 
self-employment. They woiild be allowed to accumulate up to 
$10,000 over a 4-year demonstration period for this purpose. We 
would fully evaluate to what extent households take advantage of 
this opportunity and to what extent it in fact results in increased 
self-sifficiency. 

In further recognition that education and training are vital links 
to future independence, I am proposing that we increase the 
amounts we reimburse participants in employment and training 
programs, that we allow those who are already working to deduct 
additional amounts from income for child care expenses, and that 
we encourage young adults to continue their high school educations 
by not counting some of their income so long as they are in school. 

Mr. Chairman, we know that this is something that vou have 
supported for quite a long time. We need to recognize that some 
students, perhaps because of language difiGculties, may take longer 
to complete their high school education and need special encourage- 
ment. This provision would provide that encouragement, in our 
opinion. 

Last, that there are other families who are denied food stamps 
because they own a car worth over $4,500. We propose to raise that 
limit to $5,500 in fiscal year 1994 and to index it to future years. 
To have to sell a car which would be needed to seek and to retain 
future employment just because it's worth over $4,500, to me, 
doesn't make good economic sense and, to me, makes no sense at 
all. Even a food assistance task force established by former Presi- 
dent Reagan recommended that the limit be raised to $5,500, and 
that was in 1984. We think that in that regard President Reagan 
had a great recommendation. [Laughter.] 

Mr. Chairman, in the area of antifraud, penalties, and enforce- 
ment, we've done a number of thin^ we think will tighten this bill 
and provide for program integrity. Because improving the integrity 
of the food stamp program will always be an important goal of this 
administration, our proposal includes two full titles containing good 
management and integrity proposals. These proposals coincide with 
the Department's ongoing efforts in the areas of expanding elec- 
tronic benefit transfer as an issuance alternative. 

Proposal No. 1: We'd like to expand the use and disclosure of pro- 
gram information, the sales and redemption information, provided 
by retail stores and wholesale food concerns to State and Federal 
law enforcement and investigative agencies. This proix)sal would 
enhance the Department's enforcement and investigative activity 
by allowing us to match and to verify information in our files with 
information in the files of other law enforcement and investigative 
agencies that may provide evidence of violations in programs ad- 
ministered by the Food and Nutrition Service. 

Proposal No. 2: To authorize the sharing of debt collection infor- 
mation on former food stamp redpients to permit collection of out- 
standing overpayment claims by Federal salary offset, permanently 
authorizing the collection of outstanding overpayment claims by 
tax refund intercepts, and to permit the recoupment of State agen- 
cy error claims. 



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Proposal No. 3: To authorize street trafiELcking demonstration 
projects in which State or local food stamp agencies test innovative 
ideas for investigating street trafiELcking. The rationale for this is 
because the Department's and State agencies' investigative re- 
sources are insumcient to pursue street trafiELcking, particularly the 
sale of food stamps outside issuing ofiGces by recipients for cash at 
a discount. It is essential to enlist State ana local law enforcement 
agencies to assist in these investigations. 

That, Mr. Chairman, in essence is the summary of this very com- 
plex, but very necessary bill. I'm here as the Secretary of Agri- 
culture speaMng not just about farm programs, but also about a 
very necessaiy and important part of what we do every day, and 
that's to provide nutritional support for Americans who, through no 
fault of their own, fibid themselves unable to do so. 

Thank you. With that, I'll turn it over and ask for questions. 

[The prepared statement of Secretary Espy appears at the con- 
clusion of me hearing.] 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. Just let me 
mention a couple of items. One is that during your tenure here as 
a member of our committee, we passed the Mickey Leland bill 
twice. Regretfully, fiimding was not available, and we had to do 
some juggling. Hopefully, one of the prime movers of that legisla- 
tion now is in a position to help with some ftmding, so we look to 
0MB and our dear former colleague, Mr. Panetta. 

Also, there is much concern about the terrible situation we see 
around the world, and we lost one of our Members, a friend, a 
brother, a colleague from Texas, Mickey Leland because of it. The 
sad part is that Mickey Leland gave his life on a mission not to 
bring food. The food was there. The availability of the food was 
never in question. He was shuttling between rival factions to allow 
the food to go through. The food was there. The food was available. 
He was one of the very few, perhaps the only one, in the Congress 
that had that ability and knowledge and the acquaintances to be 
able to speak to rival factions in that area where he fimally gave 
his life. 

All of us know that it came about when a child died in his arms. 
So I have personally dedicated myself to that effort, and we pray 
that aside from the substantive of getting the food, that somehow 
the world forums and the conscience of people would be such that 
this would not happen. That was happening in Somalia, and that 
was happening in Mozambique, and tnat was happening in Ethio- 

{)ia, and that was happening in the Sudan. Hopefully, our dip- 
omats will find a way so that those — ^Uke the Feed the Children 
Program — ^I'm sure the good doctor has had similar problems that 
out of the kindness and generosity and human sensitivity of people 
that you hit a wall when, for political or other reasons, they will 
not let the food go by. So we hope that that efifort shall not be di- 
minished, either, by those that handle the diplomatic areas. 

We are going to have hearings, Mr. Secretary, on a very disturb- 
ing piece of information that has been made public, and this is the 
study made through the nutrition screening initiative, working 
with the elderly, and the information is not good at all. The 132 
doctors surveyed, members of the American Giriatric Society, esti- 
mated that malnutrition among their own elderly, their patients. 



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54 

was 26 percent. The National Gerontological Nurses Association es- 
timated 28 percent. The doctors estimated malnourishment in el- 
derly hospital patients at 43 percent, and the nurses said 
malnourishment was present in 57 percent of elderly hospital pa- 
tients and 38 percent of elderly nursing home residents. 

I am asking our subcommittees to look at this report and go be- 
yond the report to ensure that what you're recommending and the 
administration is recommending, Mr. Secretary, will address some 
of these issues. We need to focus on this specifically, because in 
1993 in the United States of America, this is not acceptable. Ifs 
totally unacceptable, and we will do our best to see that this issue 
is addressed. 

We have two bells, which allow us 15 minutes, Mr. Secretary. 
We're ready for questions by members, but perhaps we can b^in 
with some members and then rotate as we have the availability. 
If s a vote on the journal, and I think that my responsibility to you 
as a distinguished guest is that at this stage of the game, I can 
miss a vote now and then. [Laughter.] 

So I will stay here with you as members come and go. 

Secretary Espy. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate that, but as I men- 
tioned to you at the outset, I have a pressing engagement in the 
other body on the other side. 

I could certainly ask my colleagues to remain to answer whatever 
questions you might have, but I co\ild 

The Chairman. Well, members are here who might want to brief- 
ly address the Secretary. If there is no objection, unanimous con- 
sent is given that all prepared statements firom the members will 
be inserted in the record at the beginning of the hearing. 

Let me just briefly yield to Mr. Penny, the chairman of the For- 
eign Agriculture and Hunger Subcommittee. 

Mr. Penny. Thank you, and I appreciate the Secretarjr's interest 
in the international hunger dimensions and particularly our col- 
laboration on the Russian aid package in recent weeks. 

I do want to ask you a question thaf s somewhat off the topic, 
but I'm curious to know, as you contemplate reorganizing the De- 
partment, what thoughts you might have about those programs 
within the Department that are related to domestic hunger issues 
and how reorganization might c^ect tliat arena. 

Secretary Espy. Thank you, Tim. I appreciate the question. 
We've not set in concrete any plan to reorganize USDA, but in my 
mind, the present programs that we have, particularly tiiose in the 
Assistant Secretary for Food and Consimier Services, would remain 
largely unaffected by any reorganizational proposal. The only areas 
that we've talked about as of late and that have been rumored to 
be under consideration for reorganization have been those in the 
international food context. There has been some talk of separating 
the Under Secretary for International Affairs and Commodity Pro- 
grams into the Farm Service Agency and to create a new Under 
Secretary position for International Affairs, and under that I would 
expect that we could put the ILCD and the Foreign Agricultural 
Service. 

I'm not announcing that todav, and I'm not even sure it's going 
to happen, but that hias been talked about more than any other as- 



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55 

pect of nutrition assistance. But nothing in the domestic has been 
even discussed. 

The Chairman. Any other member that may want to address the 
Secretary at this time? 

Mr. Roberts. 

Mr. Roberts. Mr. Chairman, if you don't approve the journal, 
somebody has to read it, and that could take weeks, so I'm going 
to go vote on the journal to make sure that it is approved as read. 
Actually, I'm going to vote against it unless it gets down to one 
vote. 

But at any rate, I just want to ask a very quick question, and 
I'm going to leave the speech out, Mike. Is there suf&dent ftmding 
in the food stamp employment and training program to accomplish 
the goal of the President, who has stated he wants to end welfare 
as we know it and he wants a welfare reform proposal? I know 
you're going to participate in tliat initiative, but with only tiiree- 
tenths of 1 percent in that employment and training, can't we do 
a little bit better than that, work on that? 

Secretary Espy. Ill ask Ms. CNeil to answer that. 

Ms. CNeil. For fiscal year 1993 we're estimating, based on State 
plans, that the combined Federal and State expenditures will be 
about $253 million. In the 1990 farm bill, the E&T program was 
substantially changed to allow States to target their resources on 
a smaller number of people. In the past we had the limited fimd- 
ing, and we also required that they serve at least 50 percent of 
their total caseload, which meant that you couldn't spend very 
much money indeptli trying to help individuals find employment 
and training. Now, because we've allowed them to target on the 
hard-to-serve and perhaps put more fimds on those individuals, we 
think we have a far more effective program. Fiscal year 1993 is the 
first opportunity we've had to implement the changes in the farm 
bill. 

Mr. Roberts. Let me point out that $253 million of a $25 billion 
program is still not where it ought to be, and firom a conservative 
Kepublican, don't turn down an offer of more money. 

Ms. O'Neil. I might add one other thing, which is about half of 
our caseload is M'DC recipients, who also receive assistance 
through the jobs program under the AFDC program. 

Mr. Roberts. I appreciate that. 

Ill be right back, Mr. Chairman. 

Secretary Espy. Thank you, Pat. Let me say also parenthetically 
that it's increasing because the need has been increasing, and we 
announced a record participation level in food stamps — 26.9 million 
folks, up 1.5 million firom last year, 1992's record level. I would love 
to find more money to assist individuals to move firom the food 
stamps and ranks of poverty into levels of independence. I would 
love to do that and have announced within this bill some degree 
of a demonstration project beyond education and training, but 
microenterprise and savings accounts to help them move firom 

Mr. Roberts. I'm going to yield to your expertise and that of Mr. 
Emerson and people who have worked with tihis over the long term 
and done their homework certainly more than I have, and I'm not 
going to ask you to hit the cargo preference Softball out of the park. 



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56 

but I just mention that in terms of the $700 million that we have 
been talking about. 

Fm not going to ask that question, Mr. Chairman. Thank you. 

Secretary Espy. And Fm not going to answer it. [Laughter.] 

But as of late, Mr. Roberts, IVe been screaming about it, and Fm 
going to continue to. 

The Chairman. Mr. Emerson. 

Mr. Emerson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Secretary, I commend you greatly for the series of con- 
ferences you're going to hold aroimd the coimtry on the himger 
issue. As you and I have had the opportimity to communicate on 
this subject, I really see it as the opening opportunity for public 
education in the broader issue of welfare reform. I thmk that we 
cannot ultimately end himger in this coimtry, which I think must 
be one of our most serious national goals, without a comprehensive 
reform of the welfare system. 

You know from your long service on this committee and on the 
Select Committee on Himger the very extensive work that was 
done on the Select Committee on Himger on the subject of welfare 
reform, because there we had an opportunity to cross jurisdictional 
lines and get into all aspects of it. I would suggest to you that one 
of the finest bodies of records or hearings or evidence available in 
this town on the need for welfare reform is in the files of the now- 
defimct Select Committee on Himger. I would certainly hope that 
as they're closing down that operation that a fiill set of all of the 
hearings relating to welfare reform, most especially the subject of 
one-stop shopping, be made available to you and your staff, because 
there's a tremendous resource there. 

Second, as I cosponsored the Mickey Inland bill, there was a 
msgor TEFAP provision in there, and that has not been included 
in the budget recommendations of the administration, as I under- 
stand it. I have had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Braley about 
it, but I wish the administration would include a TEFAP compo- 
nent in your food initiatives, and I would ask you to reexamine 
why that hasn't come forward. It is in the bill, but I don't believe 
it is in the requests of the administration, so I would ask you to 
take a look at that. 

Secretary Espy. Yes, sir. You realize that. You have been associ- 
ated with this issue for quite a long time as well as 0MB Director 
Leon Panetta, who authored the TEFAP legislation. So we have an 
interest in it, and I think it's a valuable and viable program, and 
we will review it. 

Mr. Emerson. I might say that a lot of those hearings, Leon also, 
as a former member of the Select Committee on Hunger as well as 
the Agriculture Committee, participated in all those welfare reform 
hearings that we had. So you've got an ally there who, together 
with you, you two already understand the problem. 

Secretary Espy. On the issue of welfare reform, we're working as- 
siduously. Within this administration, the overarching issue of wel- 
fare reform has been assigned to the Domestic Policy Council. In 
that council we have many Secretaries, including the Secretary of 
Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and 
we've already begun to work on a comprehensive welfare reform 
proposal. There are other issues that impact on welfare reform as 



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well, including the enterprise zone bills and the community devel- 
opment banking bills, and we've met on these already through an- 
other interagency task force coordinated through the NEC, the Na- 
tional Economic Council. President Clinton has signed off on that 
bill, and if Tm not mistaken, it either has been introduced or will 
be introduced very soon. 

Mr. Emerson. Thank you. 

Secretary Espy. Thank you. 

Mr. Emerson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. I thank the gentleman. 

Mr. Secretary, for tiie information of some of our guests, you 
heard the word **TEFAP." The letters signify a program that is 
called the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program; there- 
fore, the acronym TEFAP. 

Mr. Secretary, I might inform you also that our version of the 
Mickey Leland bill that hopefully will pass here within the next 
couple of weeks does have the TEFAP section in it, and hopefuQy 
well be able to move it along. 

This is just off the top of my head, but many people think that 
welfare is just a check to some needy person out tiiere. But the 
complexity of the welfare is such that it's a combination of pro- 
grams, most of which fall within your jurisdiction — ^the food stamp, 
the feeding the elderly, the WIC, the school lunch, the school 
breakfast, the surplus commodities, the food pantries. So the so- 
called welfare programs are a m£gor part in the Department of Ag- 
riculture, and we will be working with you in that respect. 

I don't know if well have any members back in time before you 
have to make your appointed meeting on the other side, Mr. Sec- 
retary. I expect the}^! be upset at me for letting you go, but I know 
your commitment on the otiier side. 

I'm sorry. We still have Mr. Allard here. 

Mr. Allard. I went to vote early so I'd have an opportunity to 
ask one question. 

I am interested in the foreign aid issue and wanted to at least 
pose one or two questions in regard to that. President Clinton in 
Vancouver had promised about $700 million in food to Russia, and 
yet Russia will not receive the $700 million in food, and U.S. farm- 
ers will not sell $700 million. This is due to the cargo preference 
rules, which require that 75 percent of food for progress sales are 
shipped on higher-cost U.S. ships. You have expressed concern 
about the tremendous increase in freight rates. Wouldn't it have 
been preferable to use the credit guarantee program, taking advan- 
tage of the Paris Club rescheduling agreement? 

Secretary Espy. Wayne, to say that I have expressed concern is 
an understatement. I've expressed outrage at the incredibly high 
level of cost attributed to the U.S. flag vessels. There's great dis- 
parity between the current quotes for U.S. flag vessels against the 
foreign flag vessels. To me, it's inexcusable, and even tibough we 
have the mandate in the food for progress program to carry 75 per- 
cent of commodities through United States means, I will be veiy 
judicious and careful to make sure that we comply with the spirit 
and intent of tiie law, winch also includes making sure that our 
Russian friends get as much food as possible. 



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Now, with regard to the GSM progra m, I have to say to you that 
just as I'm careful to comply witii die FFP law on the 75 percent 
cargo preference, Fm also careful to comply with the creditworthi- 
ness standards under the GSM-102 program. The fact of the mat- 
ter is that Russia has been declared, through its arrearages, a 
debtor, and there are substantial arrearages continuing under the 
GSM programs, and that's why we had to suspend additional sales 
under GSM-102. 

Tliat is a law passed by this body, so this body might want to 
consider reducing, weakening, minimizing, or whatever, the credit- 
worthiness standard. But the fact is that I have to act within the 
law and, therefore, am unable to extend under GSM-102, notwith- 
standing the action of the Paris Club. They rescheduled some debt, 
but there are arrearages that still remain, and I believe— and Chris 
could correct me if I'm wrong— there's a June date for repayment 
of some millions of dollars in arrearages, and we'll see if they can 
pay. It's $480 million that remains yet unpaid. 

Mr. Allard. I'd like to thank you for your position. I appreciate 
that. If I recall, your predecessor had a similar position in calling 
on the Congress to try and correct the creditworthiness test. 

I guess we need to just get down to our day-to-day problem, so 
the next question I have is, what sort of feel are you getting from 
the administration on how they^re going to pay for those increased 
costs in the freight that you've talked about? 

Secretary ESFY. President Clinton in the Vancouver Conference 
committed a $700 million package to President Yeltsin. I'm obli- 
gated to carry out that promise, and I'm going to do it as best I 
can. There are a number of options available to the Secretary of 
Agriculture within the Public Law 480, title I, as well as the food 
for progress program, and I'm looking at all the options and will 
be exercising some of those options in due course. 

Mr. Allard. Do you anticipate that money coming from the $700 
million, or will there be another source? 

Secretary EsPY. What money? 

Mr. Allard. For shipping tiie commodities to Russia. 

Secretary EsPY. Yes, sir. The $700 million is a cap, and we can't 
go over it. However, the transportation costs are included as a cost 
within the total cap. That's why we're so concerned about it. We 
want to send as much food as possible, obviously, and for every dol- 
lar we spend on transportation costs is a dollar less that we can 
commit to the value of food. So we have to exercise every option 
we can to maximize the value of the package. But it is a 
concessional sales program. I mean, Russia will be repaying the 
$700 million, including the cost of freight. 

The Chairman. I thank the gentleman for his contribution. 

Mr. Allard. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. We're going to do it out of order, but if the mem- 
bers could be as brief as possible on the hunger issue, not on other 
items, because the Secretary must leave at 2:30 p.m. or shortly 
thereafter. 

Ms. Long. 

Ms. Long. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 



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59 

It's good to have you here again, Mr. Secretary, and welcome 
back. 1 would like to ask you about your position on H.R. 1195, the 
quality control amendments. 

Secretary Espy. Jill, I can appreciate the question. I know that 
you have an interest in H.R. 1195. 

Ms. Long. A msgor interest. 

Secretary Espy. A msgor interest. A msgor authorizing interest, 
I understand. Let me say to you that I'm an advocate for quality 
control, but I think that we should be allowed to have time to tight- 
en the quality control elements within the current bill. We have 
some problems in States, particularly in the State of Florida and 
others, where we have witnessed some abuse and error rate prob- 
lems in the deUveiy of some of our programs, and I've been in Hiere 
96 or 97 days, and I think that we should be allowed a chance to 
attack the problems before we have any new attempts to legislate 
new standards. 

We met with some of those States where we're having problems, 
weVe worked out resolution, and we'll be announcing those very 
shortly. So I'm unable to endorse the bill that you're mentioning as 
of the moment, because I want to have time to tighten the food 
stamp program and to promote the integrity of the program as it 
stands now. 

Ms. Long. Well, let me ask you, in your written testimony, you 
indicated on page 10 that you cannot support the bill, which is a 
somewhat different statement than 1 am not endorsing the bill," 
and it would be my hope that there would be an opportunity for 
us to work with the administration, with your Dei)artment, on this 
issue. Could you tell me with regard to the provisions in the bill — 
and I don't think that we should do anjrthing to back off on making 
sure that States are responsible and accurate in issuing food 
stamps, but there are problems with the quality control system as 
it currently exists, ana I would like to hear from you on any spe- 
cific provisions in the bill that you have trouble with. 

Secretary Espy. Well, perhaps I can turn to some of my col- 
leagues at the table, but let me share with you just my reaction. 
One is that there's a difference between not objecting to something 
and not endorsing something. So I don't object to it. I do not. But 
for me to embrace it, endorse it, and hold it forward as something 
that we endorse and embrace and put forward, I'm not able to do 
that as of this time. I will review it to see if we would have any 
changes in that regard. 

Within the discussion of changes and program integrity in- 
creases^ I can sa^ to you that, one, I am really concerned about 
maintaming the mtegrity of the food stamp program. I mean, we 
operate it in every State, and I would like to have imiform stand- 
ards. Thaf s why we need to, when we announce these error rates, 
make sure that we're not treating one State more favorably than 
another State and that when we announce penalties, the penalties 
need to have teeth in them. But instead of the State providing pen- 
alty payments to the USDA or to the administration, I'd rather re- 
turn Hie money under the penalty standard to the State to have 
them beef up their enforcement and their administration. To me, 
it's returning money under the standard. We can do that under the 
law that we're proposing, and thaf s what I would favor right now. 



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Ms. Long. I have no objection to that. In fact, I think that is 
something that's needed, a provision that is needed, but I also 
think that in addition to making sure that there is consistenpy, I 
think we need to make sure that there is accuracy, that there is 
validity and reliability in the way the data are collected and the 
way that they are analyzed for each State. As you know, the sam- 
ples are very small, but when you run the regression, the statis- 
tical precision is low in many cases. 

I am one of the authors of the bill, so obviously I don't see any 
problems in the bill, but I would like to hear from you and cer- 
tainly would be glad to hear from you in writing on your assess- 
ment of the provisions of the bill and hope that we will have an 
opportunity to work together. 

Secretary Espy. We have worked together, we will work together, 
and anything you want from me in writing. 111 be glad to provide 
to your office. 

Ms. Long. OK. I just want to make sure, you're simply saymg 
that you haven't endorsed the bill, but that doesn't mean that with 
some changes in the provisions that at some point you may be able 
to. 

Secretary Espy. We'd like to work together, and we promote har- 
mony and consensus, so if there's a way I can do it, I really look 
forward to discussing it with you. 

Ms. Long. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. 

The Chairman. Mr. Secretary, I wonder if one of your staff that 
works in that area of food stamps would have any indication as to 
the progress on the pilot study on food stamp outreach that is 
being conducted. Where are we on that? 

Ms. CNeil. There's one study that's actually being conducted 
now in your home district and is going very well. I think you've vis- 
ited it and seen it in operation. I think you may be referring, 
though, to the $1 million m appropriations from last year. We have 
published solicitations. We have over 900 local grassroots organiza- 
tions that asked for copies of the soUcitation, and by May 10 
they^re to have their proposals to us, and we hope to make the 
award within 30 to 60 days after that. 

The Chairman. Good. Thank you. 

The Secretary has about 5 minutes, if we could split it up among 
five members. [Laughter.] 

Secretary Espy. We have good people remaining, thou^, Mr. 
Chairman. 

The Chairman. Mrs. Clayton wanted very much to speak— -well 
wait and see if she can get back. But before that, well do it in a 
more formal way, but we have with us today the newest member 
of our famUv, the replacement of our distinguished Secretary, Con- 
gressman Thompson of Mississippi, who very intelligently asked to 
serve on the Agriculture Committee. [Laughter.] 

He has been assigned to the committee, and we may have to 
reshuffle the whole aam structure to get him some subcommittees, 
but we're going to work on that. 

WeTlyield to you at this point briefly, Mr. Thompson. 

Mr. liiOMPSON. Mr. Chairman, I'm delighted to be here to wel- 
come the Secretary, who I replaced, and look forward to the consen- 
sus building and working on behalf of the people of this country. 



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The Chairman. Thank you very much. We welcome you, and we 
look forward to working with you. 

Mrs. Clayton. 

Mrs. Clayton. Mr. Chairman, I thank you as well as the Sec- 
retary for having this hearing and indicating that he is so commit- 
ted personally and explaining why it is important for the adminis- 
tration, for the Secretary, to come out to talk about feeding the 
American people and providing nutritional programs. It is indeed 
refreshing to have a bcdance in that approach. 

I also want to ask, if I may, a couple of questions, Mr. Secretary. 
One is in terms of— you indicated the increase that we have experi- 
enced in terms of the food stamp program. I want to ask you, what 
do you feel the expansion of this womd mean for American people? 

Secretary Espy. Well, obviously, Eva, the opportunity to receive 
nutritious food, the increase in the diet of Americans, the expan- 
sion of opportunity. There are a number of changes in this bill that 
are rather innovative, and that is to reduce the question that many 
Americans have to face every month when thev receive a check as 
to whether they should take the bulk of it and pay rent or to buy 
food or to maintain their car or to buy food or to maintain their 
family or to buy food. I mean, that's the basic question, that there's 
an increase in the comfort level of parents at the beginning of the 
month as well as the end of the month in providing food for their 
families. 

Also, through demonstration projects and the incorporation of the 
EITC and other mechanisms, there is an ability to nelp the work- 
ing poor who work 8 hours a day, a 40-hour week, but at the end 
of the month find themselves still falling below the poverty level 
move past that point into some degree of independence. Some of 
this I've thought about for a long time, but we have worked it in 
here in a demonstration context, so at least we can find out wheth- 
er or not tiie ideas we propose will work. 

So basically 111 tell you that the fundamental promotion here is 
food and the ability of Americans to benefit from the largesse that 
we have within this Nation, which has an ofTsetting benefit to the 
farmers as well, because they grow it and provide it through these 
programs and, through a weUare reform mechanism that I call wel- 
fare reform, take advantage of EITC and some of the other things 
to help them feed tiieir families. 

Mrs. Clayton. I want to pledge my support for it and tell you 
that I will take an active role and be an advocate for it. Also, the 
other advantage I just want to suggest to you — ^this week there was 
an extensive report on the impact of nutrition on health, and in ad- 
dition to tiie humane and the opportunities for having healthy peo- 
ple, I think it also allows for us to combine those resources. 

Secretary Espy. Yes. 

The Chairman. I thank the lady. 

Mr. Smith. 

Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Welcome, Mr. Secretary. It's nice to see you again. 

Secretary Espy. Thank you. 

Mr. Smith. Mr. Secretly, you and the administration have rec- 
ommended program cuts, a Btu tax increase, the elimination of 0/ 
92, irrigation and waterway user fees that, when added up in Or- 



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egon and, I suspect, in Greenwood, Mississippi, will cost my aver- 
age farmers about $12,000 a year. In addition, we're c^dlin^ for $3 
billion in agricultural program cuts — ^that's out of the agriculture 
budget, as you know — ana, at the same time, a $7 billion increase 
in food stamps. Mr. Secretary, how do I explain that diversity to 
my constituents? 

Secretary EsFY. I appreciate the question, and it's a little bit off 
the direct issue of food stamps, but I can suggest that vou explain 
it this way. No. 1, the food stamp program is an entitlement pro- 
gram. It's based on a formula, and obviously, if you increase the 
number of participants, vou're going to increase tiie amount of 
money you have to provide to cover those participants. WeVe had 
a 1.5 million-person increase in February of 1993 over February of 
1992 because of the anemic recovery that we've been on. 

Now, I don't want to get political, but if I were in another place, 
I could expound on this to talk about economic theories which have 
served to the disadvantage of many Americans. That's why th^ 
find tiiemselves in this predicament. No one wants to be on food 
stamps, but people need to eat, and as they increase in numbers 
under this formula, we have to provide it. There are 26.9 million 
Americans receiving food stamps. That's why we have to come be- 
fore you today to ask for an increase in money. 

At the same time, we do have a debt and deficit. We have a $4.1 
trillion debt and a $350 billion deficit. I was sitting where you're 
sitting last year, and I can tell you I was very unenthusiastic about 
some of those proposals that you've mentioned. I can say to you to 
tell your farmers, however, that a lot of the specific programs that 
you named won't impact tiiem in 1993. This is all in anticipation 
of the farm bill discussions that well all enter into beginning next 
year. 

So many times when you propose something, it goes into the 
pipeline and it comes out much differently than it went going in. 
So I'm sure that a lot of these proposals will undergo some, 
through discussions and debate, great cnanges, and that's not new 
to anyone. 

Last, even though the Btu tax has been proposed, I would say 
to you, Mr. Smith, that the idea is to reduce the debt and deficit 
witii an offsetting benefit of reducing the interest rates. If we can 
get the interest rates down and allow farmers to cover more of 
their overhead costs, that will do more for the American producer 
than anything that I can mention — Slower cost on loans, lower cost 
on farm maclunery— and that's the idea that we're getting toward. 

Mr. Smith. Mr. Secretary, thank you, and I will be loddng for- 
ward to discussing some of these taxes that you and I both are con- 
cerned about, I know. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Mr. Bishop. 

Mr. Bishop. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Secretary, let me once again welcome you to our committee, 
and I just want to briefly commend you for the sensitivity that you 
have demonstrated toward hunger. The support that you have 
demonstrated for nutrition pro-ams and the Mickey Leland Child- 
hood Htmger Relief Act I think speaks very, very loudly for your 
sensitivity to the human needs of our people as well as those peo- 
ple abroad. I commend you for that, and I support it. 



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I want to take the balance of my time, though, to endorse my col- 
league, Ms. Long, in her efforts to secure tiie food stamp quality 
control amendments as a part of your endeavor. The people of 
Georgia have indicated very strongly to me that it would be of 
great help to our department of family and children services in 
tiieir efforts to feed those people that these programs are designed 
to help, our yotmg and our elderly, who have, in increasing num- 
bers, begun to take advantage of the programs. 

But with somewhat larger rolls, there's been a slight variance in 
the error rate, and it has caused penalties, which take away from 
the resources available to the State if they have to pay penalties 
which tiiey could be making available in services. Fd just like to 
add my support to what my colleague, Ms. Long, is attempting to 
do in tibe quality control amendments. 

Secretary Espy. I appreciate the question. My concern, frankly, 
is that if we would forgive States for making errors, that's not a 
healthy way to go. You want to try to be as imiform as you can 
and not set that kind of precedent. If it's an error and it's an ad- 
mission, then there ought to be some penalty, to treat one Stete as 
you treat another Stete. But then the question becomes, once you 
collect the money under the penalty provision, what do you do with 
it? 

What I'm saying to you, as I said to Ms. Long, is that we don't 
want to receive the money. If it's an admission, if ifs an error, 
don't send it to USDA. I would much rather help the State fix the 
problem by allowing them to take the penalty and reinvest it in 
maximizing and ms&ing more efScient tJieir program. That's what 
we are proposing withm this bill. I don't want to just forgive an 
error, because an error is an error. But then we want to return the 
money through the tightening of the program. 

Mr. Bishop. I appreciate tiiat, Mr. Secretary, and I think that's 
an enlightened approach to it. However 

The Chairman. I thank the gentleman. I'm sorry for interrupting 
him. 

Mr. Bishop. I thought I still had a green light. 

Tlie Chairman. We're not going tmder the 5-minute rule at this 
point, and I've got two more— 111 let the gentleman conclude at this 
point. 

Mr. Bishop. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I was just hoping that at least you could look at the rate of the 
penalty and the size of the margin of error in terms of the imposi- 
tion of penalty. I think that's the most important provision. 

Secretaiy Espy. Mr. Chairman, on my time, could I turn to Ms. 
CNeil and ask her to answer some of the general quality control 
mechanisms that we're considering in this bill? 

The Chairman. Yes, of course, Mr. Secretary. 

Ms. CNeel. 111 be very brief. We have a number of concerns, but 
some of the specific ones are that the bill would forgive en toto the 
fiscal year 1992 liabilities. As the Secretary said, those liabilities 
would go into investmente that stey within the Stete to fiirther im- 
prove zne food stamp program. That's obviously a concern. 

Second, under the proposed bill, it would be based on Stete-re- 
ported error rates. We have some concern about keeping uniformity 



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among the various States, because penalties are based on a na- 
tional average. 

A third provision we're concerned about has to do with 
underissuances. Under the oirrent system, you add underissuances 
and overissuances to determine how well the program is operated. 
Under this bill, it deals strictly with overissuances. 

These are all the kinds of things I think the Secretary is refer- 
ring to as items that need further discussion and that we would 
like to work with you on. 

The Chairman. Very briefly, Mr. Barrett and Mr. Ewing, and 
then the Secretary must leave. But I understand you will leave 
your professional staff here to answer any auestions on the pro- 
grams, and then after the Secretary leaves, I will turn the gavel 
over to Mr. Stenholm, who will proceed with the subcommittee 
hearing that will be a continuation of what we have addressed 
here. 

I appreciate very much your offer to work with us and counsel, 
with us on H.R. 1195, Mr. Secretary, and we will be working with 
Ms. LfOng, who is the lead author, and all of the other — ^I think 
there are about 37 or 38 cosponsors. Maybe more now. 

Ms. Long. There are 47. 

The Chairman. Well be working with you on that. 

Mr. Barrett. 

Mr. Barrett. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Welcome back, Mr. Secretary. 

Secretary Espy. Thank you. 

Mr. Barrett. Very brieflv following up on your written testi- 
mony, you indicated in implementing food for progress that there 
is a $30 million-per-year ceiling, and I guess, initially, can you tell 
us if that has been exhausted at the present time? 

Secretary Espy. Yes. 

Mr. Barrett. It has. You also mentioned to Mr. Allard, I believe, 
that you have other options that you're working with to perhaps — 
I hate to use the word "exceed" or "get aroimd, but you can move 
money within the agency? 

Secretary EsPY. Well, the $30 million has been exhausted, and 
in order to consider other options, we could certainly come to the 
Congress to ask for that freight cap to be lifted. We could do that, 
but that, of course, would lead to a debate that I think would be 
rather protracted, but might be a debate that we should consider 
engaging in. 

m the meantime, certain promises have been made. In the mean- 
time, certain people are going hungiy. In the meantime, certain 
farm yields are accimiulatms, and in the meantime, our outlays are 
increasing. So we have to do something now. Within the food for 
progress program, we have a number of options that the Secretary 
of Agriculture can use. You perhaps know as much about this as 
I do, and I don't want to announce anvthing today, but before I an- 
nounce anjrthing, I must consult with the agricultural leaders in 
the Congress on the options that I can use, and there are certain 
members that can attest here today that IVe begun to make these 
calls, because Fm considering exercising some of our options. 

The options include transfer of certain money under finding-of- 
emergency authority, and there are other things. But we must corn- 



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ply w ith the 75 percent standard of transportation through the 
FPP program on me U.S. flag freight vessels. Within that avenue, 
there are certain things I can do as well, but we will comply with 
the spirit as long as rm allowed to also consider compliance with 
the spirit of feeding the hungry in Russia, and you can't do that 
through anything other than food means. 

So we're considering all of these options. That's the best 
nonanswer I can give you. [Laughter.] 

Mr. Barrett. Well, let me ask, in the interest of time, one more 
Quick one. Do you have the power within USDA under extraor- 
dinary circimistances, an extraordinary emergency, to waive any of 
these caps rules? Does the administration have that power? 

Secretary Espy. The President of tiie United States has the au- 
thority to waive cargo preference. The Secretary of Agriculture does 
not. 

Mr. Barrett. Thank you, sir. 

The Chairman. Mr. Ewing. 

Mr. EwiNG. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for being here today. You 
have introduced some provisions in this legislation on food stamps 
and addressing some of the problems with fraud, which I strongly 
endorse and come out of— not come out of, but are similar to legis- 
lation I've introduced. There are two things, though, that this bill 
doesn't have that I think are very good ideas, and I'd like to bring 
tiiem to your attention. 

One, when dealing with the sharing of information between 
agencies that could help lead to apprehension of fraud, there's no 
safeguard against unauthorized use of application information. We 
have found through the business commimity that theVre very con- 
cerned about this, and they would like to see some safeguards built 
into that so that if this shared information is improperly used, then 
those who improperly use it could be subject to fines. 

Two, disqualification of recipients who use food stamp programs 
for trading food stamps for firearms, ammimition, explosives, or 
controlled substances, my suggestion was that we should disqualify 
them after one incident. The law currently is three incidents; your 
bill doesn't address that. 

Would you have any comments or would you be interested in 
those suggestions? 

Secretary Espy. Let me turn to Ms. O'Neil for an answer on that. 

Ms. O'Neil. In terms of penalties for misuse of information, we 
would be happy to include language appropriate to that. 

The second issue has to do with individuals, and our particular 
concern in not including that was, for example, a reformed drug ad- 
dict. The way your biU is drafted, that individual would be dis- 
qualified for life from the food stamp program, and we thought per- 
haps that was overly harsh. 

Mr. EwiNG. But only if the drug addict or the person had done 
it before he was reformed. Is that tiie problem? 

Ms. O'Neil. That's correct. It's a life disqualification, though, in 
your bill, so if later on they become reformed, they would still be 
disQuaUfied from the program. 

Mr. Ewing. I guess my concern — and maybe there is some room 
for compromise at two times — ^we wonder how many times they get 
by with it when they're never caught, and I think everybody is en- 



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titled to one mistake, but maybe two mistakes, particiilarly in 
something as bad as controlled substances, ammunition, firearms, 
we should take another look at. We'll be in touch with you. Thank 
you. 

Secretary Espy. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. 

At this point, the full committee will recess, subject to the call 
of the Chair, and tiie hearing will continue with Chairman Sten- 
holm. 

[Whereupon, at 2:55 p.m., the committee adjourned, to recon- 
vene, subject to the call of the Chair.] 

[Material submitted for inclusion in the record follows:] 



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TESTIMONY OF 

THE HONORABLE MIKE ESPY 

SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE 

BEFORE THE 

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE 

APRIL 28, 1993 

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. 
It is indeed a pleasure to be back here among so many friends and 
former colleagues to consider H.R. 529, the Mickey Leland 
Childhood Hunger Relief Act. I welcome this opportunity to 
conment on this outstanding and long overdue legislation, named 
in memory of our beloved friend, the late Mickey Leland of Texas, 
and to present the Administration's legislative proposals for the 
Food Stamp Program. 

Before I begin today, I would like to thank Chairman de la 
Garza, Chairman Stenholm, Congressman Emerson, Members of this 
Committee, and OMB Director Panetta for taking a leadership role 
in shaping our nation's food assistance programs and for fighting 
to protect the benefits these programs provide to millions of 
low-income families and individuals in desperate need. As our 
country struggles to make hard choices in the budget, millions of 
Americans — including more than 13 million children and 2.8 
million elderly and disabled adults in the Food Stamp Program — 
depend upon us to preserve a safety net of food assistance. As 



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Secretary of Agriculture, I pledge that this Administration will 
work with you in a harmonious partnership to pass this vital 
legislation, and send it to the President in the near future. 

It is fitting that food assistance legislation in recent 
years has been named in memory of Mickey Leland. I had the honor 
of working side-by-side with Mickey in our years together serving 
on the House Select Committee on Hunger. He was a wonderful 
friend and an inspired anti-hunger activist. Mickey's vision, 
determination and wonderful personal style made him the kind of 
man whose leadership brought about changes in hunger policy that 
touched the lives of millions of people worldwide and shapes our 
view of "what's possible** yet today. 

I would also like to recognize and thank another close 
friend and former colleague on the House Select Committee on 
Hunger, Rep. Tony Hall, for his dedication and tireless efforts 
to call attention to the world's hunger problems following Mickey 
Leland 's death. 

Tony's profound sense of mission and moral imperative — as 
evidenced in his fast — is deeply heartfelt and expresses a unique 
and truly spiritual commitment to providing food security for his 
fellow men and women here and abroad. 



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DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE! The Food Stamp Program 

The Food Stamp Program is our nation's foremost food 
assistance program serving needy families. It is administered 
federally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and 
Nutrition Service (FNS) , and by State and local welfare depart- 
ments. Eligibility and benefit levels are set by law and are 
uniform in the contiguous States. 

The recession of 1990/91 and a weak economy since then have 
brought millions of Americans onto the program, and the surge is 
continuing. The latest national food stamp participation data 
show a new record-breaking 26.9 million people — more than one in 
ten Americans — turned to the Food Stamp Program in February. 
That is up nearly 1.5 million over February of the previous year. 
This unprecedented need for food assistance clearly shows that 
the recovery still has produced no major increase in jobs or 
family income. 

One in ten Americans. At first, it might seem hard to grasp 
that there can be so much need in our land of plenty. Yet, 
regrettably, the need is painfully real. 

Nine out of every ten households receiving food stamps have 
gross incomes at or below the poverty line (currently $14,350 for 
a family of four) . More than eight out of ten food stamp 



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households have children or elderly and disabled members. The 
Food Stamp Program currently provides households with average 
monthly benefits of just $68 per person. This amounts to just 
over $2.25 a day, or 76 cents a meal for each person. 

As you know. President Clinton has asked Congress for $585 
million in 1994 outlays and $7.5 billion over the next five years 
in his budget request to increase food assistance and reduce 
hunger among low income American families through the Food Stamp 
Program, and help offset effect of the Administration's proposed 
energy tax on low-income households. Mr. Chairman, if I may, X 
would like permission to submit the Administration's legislative 
proposal called the "Mickey Leland Hunger Prevention Act" for 
the record. 

I would like to summarize these proposals this afternoon and 
describe how they tie in with provisions contained in the Mickey 
Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act, and how they reflect the 
President's budget request. 

Like H.R. 529, the Department's package is intended to 
ensure adequate food assistance, promote self sufficiency, and 
simplify administration of the Food Stamp Program. In addition, 
the Department's package contains a number of provisions designed 
to improve program integrity. 



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All Of the food stamp provisions of H.R. 529 have been 
incorporated in the Administration 's legislative proposals either 
verbatim or in a modestly revised version. Identical provision 
include: 

• increasing funding for Puerto Rico's Nutrition Assistance 
Program by $20 million in FY 94 and $25 million per year in 
the following four fiscal years, 

• increasing the resource limits for households containing 
disabled members from $2,000 to $3,000, 

• increasing the maximum dependent care deduction, 

• allowing food stamp households who have a break in 
participation of 30 days or less to receive a full month's 
allotment when they return to the program, 

• excluding vehicles as resources necessary to transport 
fuel and water for households (a provision which I know, as 
a person from rural America, will provide a real benefit to 
needy people) , 

• excluding as income transitional housing vendor payments 
for homeless people who need special help, and 



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• eliminating procedures for reducing allotnents when there 
is inadequate funding available for the Food Stanp Program 
because these procedures are not necessary and serve only to 
add unnecessary anxiety to recipients who may not have 
confidence in our commitment to assure that their benefits 
are uninterrupted. 

The Department has made only minor changes in five other 
provisions drawn from H.R. 529. They are: 

• the income exclusion for high school students age 21 and 
younger. (This addresses a concern of Chairman de la Garza 
that some high school students, because of language or other 
barriers, may continue to be pursuing a high school diploma 
beyond the traditional age of 18.) 

• the income exclusion for the energy /utility cost portion 
of General Assistance vendor payments, 

• the income exclusion for up to $50 in child support 
received by households, a provision which the States have 
long championed because it provides consistency with Aid to 
Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and provides an 
additional incentive to single parents both to pursue and 
make support payments. 



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• allowing States to nake reimbursements to participants in 
Employment and Training programs at the same level provided 
for in AFDC's JOBS program, 

• the simplification of the household definition. Our 
household definition provision clarifies the status of 
children up to age 21 who are under the parental control of 
household members, and 

• the provision of H.R. 529 that would exclude legally- 
obligated child support paid to nonhousehold members has 
been revised to provide the Department authority to 
establish the method of determining the amount of the 
exclusion. This provision encourages timely payment by the 
absent parent and recognizes that this money is not 
available to the parent for his or her living needs. 

The Administration's legislative proposal also contains 
three provisions which are revisions of similar provisions in 
H.R. 529. We propose increasing food stamp benefits more quickly 
by increasing maximum benefit levels to 104 percent of the cost 
of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) on October 1, 1993. This needs to 
be done to assist households in purchasing the Thrifty Food Plan 
through most of the year. 



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In recent years, there has been a great deal of concern 
expressed by this Committee over how difficult it is for families 
to feed themselves on benefits tied to the Thrifty Food Plan. 
Historically, the average cost of the TFP over the course of a 
year is about four percent higher than the cost in the preceding 
June. This change will better ensure that benefits will be 
sufficient to enable people to keep up with food prices. 

We also propose to remove the cap on the excess shelter 
expense deduction more quickly— Fiscal Year ISSS—than would H.R. 
529. The current cap on the shelter deduction results in an 
unrealistically low benefit level because it assumes that some 
households have money available for food which must really go for 
rent and utility bills. The cap most severely burdens families 
with children because it is fixed with no allowance for household 
size. 

The Administration's proposal would raise the fair market • 
value of vehicles that is excluded in determining households' 
resources so that, initially, the limit would rise more 
substantially than would H.R. 529. The fair market value limit 
of $4,500 has been in place since enactment of the Food Stamp Act 
in 1977. Clearly, over the years, the relative quality of a 
vehicle that households could possess under this limit has 
seriously eroded. We believe that this is a barrier both to 
working poor families in trying to come on the program and to 

8 



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current participants who aay need a car to get to a job. 

While the Department shares the goals embodied in H.R. 529 
and other bills proposed to improve the Food Stamp Program and 
better serve the needs of low-income families with children, and 
has included provisions in this bill to attain those goals, we 
have proposals to further several additional goals. 

In addition, the bill empowers food stamp recipients to 
better their own lives and escape their reliance on Federal 
assistance. To attain that goal, the Department recommends three 
additional provisions that are not included in H.R. 529. First, 
for current participants, earned income tax credits (EITCs) would 
be excluded from the calculation of resources for one year after 
their receipt; EITCs are currently excluded as income and as 
resources in the month received and the next month. The current 
treatment may cause low- income working families to spend their 
EITCs quickly to avoid losing food stamp benefits — a result 
contrary to prudent public policy. 

Second, a provision has been added authorizing demonstration 
projects to test allowing participating households to accumulate 
up to $10,000 in resources in order to improve the education, 
training, or employability of household members or to purchase or 
repair a house for the household's use or to enable the household 
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Third, the educational income received by students that 
enables them to further their education or otherwise become more 
self-reliant would be excluded for food stamp purposes. This 
conforms more closely with current AFDC policy. 

Finally, because improving the integrity of the Food Stamp 
Program will always be an important goal of this Administration, 
our proposal includes two full titles containing good management 
and integrity proposals. These proposals coincide with the 
Department's ongoing efforts in the areas of expanding electronic 
benefit transfer as an issuance alternative and retaining a 
strong quality control system. In terms of quality control, we 
believe that changes must be approached very cautiously to assure 
that incentives for error reduction are not weakened. For this 
reason and others, I can not support H.R. 1195. 

The President's Budget includes significant increases in 
benefits provided by the Food Stamp Program. The increased 
benefits provided by the Administration's legislative proposal 
would overwhelmingly assist low-income families with children. 

The estimated cost of the Administration's bill falls within 
the House Concurrent Budget Resolution. 



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TEFAP 

While the Food Stamp Program is the Nation's foundation 
program in addressing the hunger and nutrition of its low income, 
vulnerable population, the Department also provides assistance 
through a number of other programs. One of these programs, which 
falls under the jurisdiction of this Committee, is the Emergency 
Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) . TEFAP provides commodities for 
households in need of immediate, short-term assistance. Through 
TEFAP, in addition to donating surplus commodities, the Federal 
government purchases and donates to the States a variety of 
wholesome commodities, which are distributed to needy persons via 
a network of largely volunteer organizations. They, in turn, 
distribute these commodities and, in some cases, foods from other 
sources to those in need of assistance. 

The President requests an increase of $40 million over 
current services for TEFAP in FY 1994. This increase will permit 
additional commodities to be purchased and allocated to States 
based on the number of unemployed persons and the number of 
persons under the poverty line in each State. 

FOREIGN ASSISTANCE 

Even as we grapple with the issue of hunger here in the 
United States, Americans continue to work to address the serious 

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hunger probleas that exist in other countries around the world. 

Last year, a United Nation's Food and Agriculture 
Organization (FAO) study estimated the number of chronically 
undernourished people in developing countries at about 790 
million. FAO noted that this number, covering 1988-90, has 
dropped by about 150 million since the early 1970 's — a period, I 
might add, during which total world population grew by some 40 
percent. 

So, perhaps, there is reason to be hopeful... to believe that 
the world has made some headway in combatting hunger through 
developmental efforts, technology, trade, economic reform, and 
all those things that help produce growth, reduce poverty, and 
improve the supply and distribution of food. 

We should also recognize that the United States remains the 
world's largest food aid donor, providing 55-60 percent of annual 
cereal grain donations by all countries. And private aid in 
various forms by Americans through religious, voluntary, and 
business groups is even greater than official U.S. government 
aid. 

Yet these efforts must be acknowledged with more humility 
than pride, because the magnitude of the problem remains 
enormous. With more than three-quarters of a billion people 

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going hungry every day — with lives being lost to hunger and 
Malnutrition — we are still a long, long way from the world we all 
seek. And every year, in addition to chronic problems related to 
poverty, the world faces new hunger energencies. Whatever other 
issues we are dealing wit, these realities must never be far from 
our minds. 

USDA Food Aid Programs 

USDA provides humanitarian food aid through three programs: 
Title I of P.L. 480, Section 416(b) of the Agricultural Act of 
1949, and the Food for Progress Act of 1985. 

P.L. 480 focuses on the needs of developing countries and 
emerging market economies. Its goals are to help meet 
humanitarian needs, provide needed calories and nutrients, and 
establish a U.S. market presence abroad. The Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 assigns specific 
responsibility for Title I concessional credit activities to 
USDA. The Agency for International Development (AID) administers 
Title II, covering emergency and private assistance donations, 
and Title III, covering food aid grants to support economic 
growth in least-developed countries. 

Title I provides government-to-government financing for 
sales of U.S. agricultural commodities at below-market interest 

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rates, with repayment terns of up to 30 years. USDA expects to 
provide about 2.6 million metric tons of commodities under Title 
I this fiscal year to about 25 countries, compared with 2.3 
million tons to 24 countries last year. 

Under Section 416(b) authority, USDA provides donations of 
uncommitted Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) stocks to needy 
people overseas. A substantial portion of this aid is being 
distributed through the multilateral World Food Program. In 
total, we expect to provide nearly 2 million metric tons of food 
to 38 countries this year under Section 416(b). 

The Food for Progress program is implemented using either 
funds appropriated to carry out Title I of P.L. 480, or the 
authorities of section 416(b). Under this program, USDA provides 
commodities on grant or concessional credit terms to needy 
countries and emerging democracies to reward effort toward 
agricultural reform and free enterprise. A significant portion 
of the aid is provided through private U.S. voluntary 
organizations (PVO's) . 

As you know, in implementing Food for Progress, the use of 
CCC funds for freight and other noncommodity costs is limited by 
law to $30 million per year. The annual 500,000 ton limit on the 
quantity of commodities that may be provided under Food for 
Progress does not apply to commodities furnished to countries of 

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the fomer Soviet Union (FSU) during Fiscal Year 1993. Assuming 
a resolution of the freight issue, USDA expects to provide nearly 
2.3 million tons (plus an as yet undetermined tonnage for the 
$700 million program announced by President Clinton in Vancouver) 
of commodities under Food for Progress this year, with all but 
about (450,000) tons going to the FSU. 

USDA's aid programs are designed primarily to meet chronic, 
predictable food deficits rather than emergency situations. 
These programs complement the AID-administered titles of P.L. 480 
that are targeted to food aid emergencies and providing food for 
very poor countries. USDA and AID work closely together in 
planning food assistance, and USDA tries to allocate resources to 
help meet emergency situations. 

In this context, it is important to note that we have faced 
increased worldwide food aid needs in the last few years, coming 
at a time of tight resources and a serious economic slowdown in 
the United States and in other food donor nations. These growing 
needs have reflected not only natural disasters, but to a greater 
extent civil strife, ethnic conflicts, and major geopolitical 
changes. This has resulted in a significant shift in dollar 
coverage over the last few years to respond to the needs of 
emerging democracies in the FSU and Eastern Europe, as well as to 
urgent situations in other parts of the world, such as last 
year's severe drought in southern Africa. 

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Mr. Chairman, I would like to turn now to how USDA is using 
its food aid programs to help meet the critical needs in some of 
the most vulnerable areas. USDA is primarily using Section 
416(b) donations through the World Food Program (WFP) to meet the 
more critical needs in several African countries. For example, 
of the planned 745,000 tons of U.S. commodity donations through 
the WFP, more than 560,000 tons — or about three-fourths of the 
total — are targeted to Africa. Most of this is corn. 

Another part of the world where we are focusing USDA 
attention, of course, is the FSU. As you know, U.S. government 
food assistance is being met primarily under the USDA- 
administered programs through government-to-government agreements 
and through U.S. private voluntary organizations (PVO's) . In the 
Transcaucasus we are providing assistance to two of the three 
republics — Armenia and Georgia. We also are providing assistance 
to all five central Asian republics, but the greatest needs are 
in Kyrgyzistan and Tadjikistan. 

Limited Resources for Increased Needs 

Mr. Chairman, the United States has maintained a strong 
commitment to combat world hunger, both as a moral obligation and 
for national self interest in a peaceful, prosperous world. 
Today, USDA and AID together are providing food assistance to 
help meet emergency situations and chronic food deficits in about 

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80 countries around the world. He anticipate increased needs 
relating to continuing geopolitical change, a growing tide of 
nationalism in many regions, and the increased potential for 
civil strife. 

Mr. Chairman, we recognize the increased magnitude of the 
problems we face — and their human dimensions — and we will 
continue to work with AID, other U.S. agencies, and the world 
community in a concerted effort to make the most effective use of 
available resources to alleviate hunger and suffering around the 
world. 

CONCLUSION 

Mr. Chairman, hunger is a global problem which we must all 
work to alleviate. However, world hunger is not an easy problem 
to solve, but it is a problem we must embrace; for I know that 
hungry people do not just exist in Somalia. 

Mr. Chairman, the true measure of our food policies is how 
they change people's lives. A decent society cannot close its 
eyes to hunger in its midst. I hope I have succeeded today in 
giving you a good idea of the magnitude of the Clinton 
Administration's commitment to food assistance for America's 
needy. No one should go hungry in America for lack of means. 

That was Mickey Leland's dream. That is our dream. 

f 

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Mr. Chaiman, this concludes ny remarks. I would be happy 
to answer any questions that you or the Members of the Committee 
have at this time. 



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