Akin: Food stamp program should be “phased out”

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Rep. Todd Akin (Official photo)
Missouri News Horizon

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — U.S. Rep. Todd Akin said Tuesday he believes a federal program that aimes to help lower income individuals buy food should be eventually phased out.

Speaking at a primary debate in St. Charles, the Republican U.S. Senate hopeful decried millions in federal spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“The food stamp budget had gone up,” Akin said, “while we’re cutting defense. There’s something wrong with that.”

In an interview after the debate, Akin said the program should be done away with entirely in the future.

“I think that probably sort of a phased solution makes sense,” Akin said, noting that it would be challanging to end the program “cold turkey”.

Republican rival John Brunner said programs like federal aid for food are best delivered to individuals at the local level, and Sarah Steelman said the federal government should roll back spending on the “dependency class.”

The three are competing for their party’s nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in November.

The issue of food stamps is reemerging as Congress begins to take up the 2013 farm bill. Some Republicans are hoping to find savings in the bill by restoring an asset test for eligibility.

McCaskill was expected to discuss the 2013 farm bill with reporters later Tuesday.