Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker isn’t going to be president, or vice president, or anything else other than Wisconsin’s personal cross to bear. And that’s fine, because it leaves him more time to pursue his deepest passion: making food stamp recipients pee in cups.
Walker is leading a group of 11 Republican governors who are asking Congress to allow the states to pee-test everyone getting SNAP benefits. This is after Wisconsin sued the federal government in the summer of 2015, arguing that food stamps constitute welfare, and welfare should mean a deep analysis of the urine of everyone who receives it.
This is an abiding interest of the Walker administration: In December, they cut 15,000 food stamp recipients from the rolls, after imposing new restrictions on benefits available to the unemployed. Yes: people were cut off from food stamps because they couldn’t find work.
Walker is now leading the group of governors supporting legislation written by Rep. Robert Aderholt, an Alabama Republican who also serves as chairman of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.
That committee administers the SNAP program, which is terrifying, because Aderholt’s new proposed legislation, submitted in February, would allow states to make drug tests mandatory for food stamp recipients. (The other Republican-led states supporting the measure are Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.)
The underlying idea here is that people who must receive supplemental nutrition are lazy and drug-addled. That’s not true: every state that’s tried mandatory drug tests for welfare recipients have shown that they have fewer positive drug tests than the general population.
Meanwhile, 25 charitable and religious groups are calling on Walker to restore the food assistance to the people his administration cut out of the program. They say the cuts have placed “an unmanageable burden on local charitable resources” like food pantries and soup kitchens to provide food. They also point out that human beings, in general, need to eat to remain alive.
Photo via AP