U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston wants Georgia to require healthy individuals who receive food stamps to work.
Speaking Friday at the Georgia Young Farmers Convention at the Augusta Convention Center, Kingston said he will write a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal endorsing a work requirement for “able-bodied” individuals on food stamps. He unsuccessfully pushed for the measure in the $1 trillion farm bill that passed the U.S. House on Wednesday.
The Savannah Republican is one of eight candidates seeking to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., who is retiring.
The new five-year farm bill cut farm subsidies known as direct payments and authorized a $8 billion cut to the food stamp program.
Kingston, who wanted bigger cuts to food stamps, said nutrition and agriculture policy should not be included in the same bill.
“What happens when we do a farm bill is most of the energy is spent on the smallest part of it – production agriculture and conservation. That’s where all the debate is, but it’s only about 20 percent,” he said. “To
me, if you split it up, each side could get a lot more scrutiny and it’d be a better product for both.”
Kingston, who recently spent $1.2 million on television commercials for his Senate campaign, said the crowded race is becoming a tough campaign.
“There’s a sense that our campaign is moving along so we get attacked by Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “We are going to try to continue to do what we are doing, which is talk directly to the people of Georgia.”
A 21-year veteran of the House, Kingston said he’s hoping to break up the Democrat-controlled Senate.
“What I have seen is so many of the reforms we pass out of the House get killed in the Senate. I really strongly believe that the battleground right now is in the Senate,” Kingston said. “We need to take the majority back
and then have a change of leadership in the White House.”