We first reported Thursday on U.S. Department of Agriculture’s warning that it may yank or suspend some of the funding North Carolina receives to distribute food stamps.
The agency wrote a previously-undisclosed letter (click here) in December to Health and Human Services Secretary Wos in December telling her the continual delay of food stamps was “unacceptable” and a “serious failure.” The federal agency has “grave concern for the low income people of North Carolina.”
News of the letter went beyond North Carolina Friday, with the Washington Post picking up on it.
Since then, the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus (who first discovered and revealed the Dec. 11 letter outlining the federal governments concerns) held press conferences around the state Friday calling for Wos to step down.
But Gov. Pat McCrory continues to be steadfast in his support of Wos, a Greensboro doctor and fundraiser for McCrory during his campaign, according to the (Raleigh) News & Observer.
“The governor has confidence that Secretary Wos and her team are working hard to ensure that those who need benefits receive benefits,” spokesman Ryan Tronovitch wrote in a statement to the newspaper. “Another gimmicky press scheme from the extreme left won’t help solve the problem.”
Finally, a DHHS spokeswoman Julie Henry acknowledged to Raleigh TV station WRAL that the problems with N.C. FAST, the computer system that has caused the delays and problems, are getting worse not better.
But on Friday, DHHS spokeswoman Julie Henry acknowledged the increased number of overdue cases, thousands of which have been pending for more than four months (Friday afternoon, Henry said the NC FAST team had discovered 2,300 duplicates among cases that had been pending for more than 120 days).
“It’s not getting better,” Henry said. “We recognize it’s not improving. That’s why we are continuing to work with our county partners to offer some kind of relief so they can get these cases processed.”
On Tuesday, HHS leaders will find themselves back in front of a legislative oversight committee to answer questions about the ongoing problems at DHHS.