Political

Nov 4, 2013 4:29 PM by AP

Vitter seeks tougher response on food stamp misuse

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - U.S. Sen. David Vitter says state leaders haven't done enough to aggressively pursue food stamp recipients who overspent their balance when the electronic food stamp service was down last month.

The Republican senator sent a follow-up letter Monday complaining to Suzy Sonnier, secretary of the Louisiana social services department, and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. Vitter says he's disappointed with their response to his concerns.

Several Louisiana retailers allowed food stamp recipients to make unlimited purchases on Oct. 12, when the electronic card system was down and balances couldn't be checked.

Sonnier asked federal officials for permission to suspend food stamp benefits for recipients who overspent their balance. Both Sonnier and Caldwell said they don't have control over whether fraud cases are prosecuted.

Vitter disagreed, saying state officials could do more.

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