“I do not believe fraud is rampant in Ohio, but it does exist and it is significant,” Yost testified. “Food stamp fraud hardens the hearts of good people and deafens their ears to the sound of hunger.”
But when Fudge had her chance to question Yost, she unleashed an aggressive series of questions. “How can you make the suggestion that there is over $100 million in fraud in the state of Ohio?”
“I think what I said was millions, which would be more than two,” Yost replied.
When Yost said he was not suggesting “there should be cuts to the program,” Fudge interrupted to ask, “I didn’t ask that question. How much actual fraud did you find?”
Later, as Yost said his office had uncovered “a variety” if misspending in other federal programs, Fudge asked, “What about crop insurance? What has your audit found about that?”
“I don’t know if we ever looked at crop insurance?” Yost replied.
“Ohio is an agriculture state,” she said. “It’s a federal program.”
Yost appeared to strike a nerve among Democrats when in his prepared remarks he suggested “an overarching principle for reform: Block-granting this program to the states.”
Republicans have argued the federal government should provide block grants to the states and allow them to design many of the domestic programs operated and financed by the federal government. Democrats tend to oppose block grants, fearing they will lead to fewer benefits for low-income people.