Pocan: Wisconsin GOP Must Act to Save Food Assistance
MADISON, WI—Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement in response to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s reversal of Governor Evers’ emergency order threatening millions of dollars every month in federal food assistance for Wisconsinites.
“As Wisconsin once again sees a rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths, now is not the time to challenge public health orders and threaten food security for thousands of Wisconsinites. Overturning the Governor’s emergency order means Wisconsin could very likely lose $50 million per month in additional federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds that so many Wisconsinites have relied on during this pandemic.
“I urge the Republican-controlled legislature to step in for the people of Wisconsin to issue an emergency order to protect Wisconsinites and ensure we don’t lose crucial food assistance for Wisconsin families. The state legislature has already opposed expanding Medicaid to cover nearly 91,000 additional low-income people—which would have saved Wisconsin $1.6 billion over the next two years. Pair that with the $50 million we will lose monthly in federal food benefits, and the Wisconsin GOP is not only forcing hundreds of thousands of families to go hungry, but they are being inexplicably fiscally irresponsible. Acting now will not only help people in need, but also protect taxpayers from an unneeded loss of federal funds. Any other action is fiscally irresponsible.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Agriculture has allocated additional emergency SNAP aid to states that have enacted emergency orders. Governor Evers’ emergency order—which included the statewide mask mandate—ensured that Wisconsinites would receive millions in additional federal food assistance. Without the emergency order or additional action by the state legislature, Wisconsin could lose that aid.