Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) called on Governor Scott Walker to change his proposal to hire private-sector employees to determine eligibility for food stamps, which news reports indicate jeopardizes $20 million a year the state receives to help 800,000 low-income Wisconsinites buy food.
Congresswoman Moore said, ”Wisconsinites pay taxes to Washington, and we deserve that money to come back to our economy. By pursuing these bull-headed and ideologically-driven policies, Governor Walker appears content with Wisconsinites’ Federal tax dollars being spent in Minnesota and Illinois – or any other state.”
Earlier this year, Congresswoman Moore wrote to President Obama and asked him if Governor Walker’s proposal to hire private workers would jeopardize Federal funding. She also wrote to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking for a field investigation into Walker’s attempts to privatize administration of Wisconsin’s food stamps program. Her letter to President Obama can be read here, and her letter to USDA can be read here.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has called similar privatization efforts in Texas and Indiana “complete failures.” Indiana is currently in a lawsuit with IBM – the company it contracted to handle intake for health care and food assistance. The state broke the contract early after complaints and is being sued for $100 million.
Moore continued, “Governor Walker is once again putting ideology above the well-being of Wisconsinites. Wisconsin could lose $20 million as he seeks to privatize food stamps. And this is on top of the $23 million he sent back that would have helped expand internet in rural schools. It’s even in addition to the $46 million in Federal transit funding at risk because of his divisive changes to collective bargaining.”