Rep. Norman Leads Probe Into Possible Inappropriate Restrictions on USDA Funding for Free and Low-cost Meals for Economically Disadvantaged Students

This week, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC-05) led 35 House members in a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack concerning a recent memorandum suggesting his agency might withhold the funding of free and low-cost meals for economically disadvantaged students if schools do not embrace the Administration’s policies concerning gender identity and sexual orientation.

“Based on your May 5, 2022 memorandum, which lacked an appropriate rulemaking process subject to notice and comment,” wrote the lawmakers, “it appears that schools that receive this funding might be forced to adhere to gender identity anti-discrimination policies and permit biological males who self-identify as female access to female private spaces, such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers. These entities might also be required to allow biological males who self-identify as girls to compete against biological girls in female sporting events or risk losing federal funds for lunches, breakfasts, and snacks. Moreover, schools could be at risk of losing this important funding if students are accused of using the wrong preferred pronouns when referring to fellow students.”

The letter implores Secretary Vilsack to “prioritize the needs of all students over the desire of this administration to implement an all-encompassing, woke gender orthodoxy” and requests a formal reply to a series of questions concerning the Secretary’s memorandum and related USDA policies.

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