Rep. Jack Kingston wants work requirement for healthy food stamp recipients

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.”

Poverty rate stuck at 15 percent
More working-age Americans are on food stamps
Online notice system launched for Ga. benefits
Food pantries see increase in requests after cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
YU’S CAMPAIGN AD TARGETS KINGSTON

ATLANTA — U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston opened himself up for criticism when he suggested poor children sweep cafeterias in exchange for free lunch, and he is now the target of an ad released Thursday by Eugene Yu, an Augusta businessman running against Kingston in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

Kingston has said he was trying to show that freebies discourage a work ethic from developing in children and diminishes their self-worth.

Yu’s ad suggests the real answer is an economic one, playing up on his promise to bring back manufacturing jobs moved overseas in recent decades.

“Create an environment where companies can thrive and grow and get our unemployed back to work,” an announcer says in the ad. “It is time our congressmen learn there is no free lunch. It is time to clean house.”

In a telephone interview, Yu said, “The people are tired of all these career politicians. I don’t care what they say; they are looking purely for their own interests.”

Kingston, who is ahead in fundraising and at least one poll, announced this week that he is putting out more than $1.2 million for his own television commercials; however, he hasn’t released the scripts for the ads or provided details about their message.

– Morris News Service

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