Gov. Jay Inslee today detailed his concerns about a Trump administration executive order designed to make it more difficult for people to access many of the public assistance programs that are necessary for struggling families to get back on their feet.
The order directs federal officials to evaluate programs such as housing assistance, child care, food stamps and Medicaid, and to propose strict new work requirements and eligibility restrictions.
Inslee argued in a letter to the White House that the premise behind the executive order is rooted in harmful and outdated stereotypes about our nation’s most vulnerable people, and ignores the real barriers to economic stability including high costs for housing and child care, changes in the kinds of jobs being created, and a lack of access to affordable education.
“This bootstrap ideology has never been more out of touch with the realities of the people and policymakers grappling with persistent poverty in this country,” Inslee wrote. “Contrary to this administration’s assertions, the poverty problem in the United States is not about work ethic. It is about the lack of affordable housing, the high cost of child care and the increasing rate of health care costs. It is about the dire need for more mental health and opioid treatment. It is about changing economic forces that are creating more low-wage jobs than middle-wage jobs, while leaving many rural communities without any job creation at all.”