WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) joined every Republican member of the Minnesota delegation on a letter to the Minnesota Department of Education regarding its involvement in and oversight of what is being called the “largest COVID-19 fraud scheme in the nation.” The letter, led by Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05), was co-signed by Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (KY-01) and Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-05.)
Emmer said, “Due to a lack of transparency from the State of Minnesota and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we are no closer to understanding how $250 million of taxpayer funds were stolen from children and families in need. Minnesotans deserve answers. We will continue to do our work to hold those responsible to account and prevent this from occurring again.”
“USDA and its state partner, Minnesota Department of Education, are directly responsible for the mismanagement of child nutrition programs that led to the largest COVID-related fraud in the country,” said Rep. Finstad (MN-01). “It is critical that we have all the information necessary from MDE to understand the extent to which these programs were exploited by bad actors at the expense of hungry kids and families. My colleagues and I remain committed to demanding transparency at every level of government to get the answers we need in order to safeguard these food programs and hold accountable those responsible for allowing this fraud to occur.”
“Feeding Our Future’s alleged fraud has been described as the largest COVID-19 fraud scheme in the nation,” said Rep. Fischbach (MN-07). “Taxpayers deserve to know how $250 million could be stolen from those in need with no one the wiser. My colleagues and I are determined to prevent anything like this from happening again. I look forward to a swift response so our work can continue.”
“It is shocking that the Minnesota Department of Education along with the Department of Agriculture’s Food Nutrition Service failed to prevent what has been described as the largest COVID-19 fraud scheme in the nation,” said Rep. Stauber (MN-08). “This scandal raises many questions, and I believe Minnesotans deserve answers. We need to know exactly how such a large amount of taxpayer money was allowed to be stolen at the expense of some of our state’s most vulnerable. That’s why I am proud to sign onto to this letter demanding the Minnesota Department of Education provide the necessary documents so our House Committees can properly conduct a much-needed investigation into this shameful scandal.”
The letter is the third in a series of congressional inquiries since the fraud came to light. In September 2022, the same members asked Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for documents related to Feeding our Future and were met with an inadequate response.
In July, Emmer joined a follow-up letter to the USDA, which has yet to receive a response.