Millionaire Gets on Food Stamps to Expose Loophole in Program – Dems Outraged

Rob Undersander, a Minnesota man who happens to be a millionaire, will tell a House agriculture subcommittee on Thursday how he applied for and received food stamps for more than a year to expose the lack of accountability in government spending.

The subcommittee meeting will center around the possible impact of eliminating broad-based categorical eligibility requirements for households that receive food stamps.

A loophole in the law allowed Undersander, who had little income on paper but $1 million in property and retirement accounts, to qualify for government food stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits.

“I’m sitting in the [training] class, I’ll never forget this,” Undersander told the Washington Free Beacon. “We’re going through pages and pages of all these programs for low-income seniors that have ascending income [qualification] levels and ascending asset levels. But when you get to SNAP, it’s only income.”

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“I’ve got the [SNAP] form in my hand and I’m thinking of my financial situation, and I said ‘you know, I just can’t believe this,'” he added. “So I went down to the second floor of the Sterns County Courthouse, stood in line a little bit, handed in the application and three weeks later I’m getting food stamps, a balance on my EBT card.”

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Last year, Minnesota state Republicans put forth a bill aimed at closing the loophole, but their efforts failed. The debate has flared anew in the midst of a major congressional overhaul of SNAP.

Undersander told CBS-affiliate WWCO last year that he received about $300 a month over a period of 19 months. He added in his interview with the Free Beacon that he carefully documented how he donated to charity an amount of money “equal to or more” than what he received in food stamp payments.

Rob Undersander triggers Democrat backlash

But Undersander’s philanthropic contributions weren’t enough to temper the disgust of Minnesota Democrats, who rejected the notion that the program is broken. The Minnesota engineer testified before the Minnesota House last year and Democrat lawmakers were not shy about venting their ire.

“You knew this was wrong and you did it anyway. Frankly, I find this pretty despicable,” Rep. John Considine said. “I’m actually sorry there’s no way we can prosecute you, to be honest.”

Minnesota governor Mark Dayton, meanwhile, said Undersander had “finagled the system” while defending his state’s welfare benefits program during a press conference in 2018.

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“One person can game the system. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of people that are on the program and they find the one person who figure out how to game the system,” Dayton said.

Approximately 500,000 Minnesotans receive food stamp benefits.

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