HARRISBURG – In an ongoing pattern to silence House Republicans, Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) said today House Democrats cut off meaningful debate yesterday and would not consider his amendment to address welfare fraud and abuse. By voting to table the amendment, an action used for the ninth time this session, House Democrats once again denied Republicans an equal voice in any discussions.
Heffley’s amendment to House Bill 850
would have given law enforcement additional powers to confiscate illegally obtained state Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards if the cards are found during a lawful traffic stop or arrest.
“There is no legal reason for an unauthorized individual to have access to EBT cards,” Heffley said. “My amendment would have given our law enforcement the authority to confiscate these illegal cards and get them out of circulation. Democrats, instead, voted to hamstring our ability to cut down on welfare fraud – further perpetuating this illegal practice.
“It’s just another example of when the Democrat Party cannot defend their position on policy they conjure up false narratives and hide behind procedural motions instead of addressing the underlying issue of welfare fraud.”
While Heffley’s amendment was the only one tabled, the remaining five amendments offered by House Republicans -- each of which contained language to reduce or eliminate waste, fraud and abuse; right-size the safety net to make sure services are there for individuals that need them; and provide program integrity measures -- were each defeated on a party-line vote with all Democrats voting no.
“People in need should have access to services – that is a fundamental issue that everyone can agree upon. But to not address fraud and abuse issues that currently exist is irresponsible,” Heffley added. “Making sure tax dollars are spent wisely and go to those individuals truly in need of services should not be a partisan issue.”
Representative Doyle Heffley
122nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Melissa Fox