WASHINGTON - Chairman Bryan Steil (WI-01) sent a letter to the Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman today requesting affirmation that the Universities will not inappropriately utilize federal funding for partisan purposes ahead of this election. The letter comes after reports that public universities across the country, including in Wisconsin, are utilizing Federal Work Study and Help American Vote Act (HAVA) grant funds for voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts ahead of the 2024 election. Questions have also been raised about universities partnering with liberal and Democrat-affiliated organizations in their get-out-the-vote programs.

In the letter, Steil stated, "I believe we share the goal of encouraging Americans to vote.  I hope we also share the view that federal taxpayer dollars should never be used in a partisan manner.”  Steil continued, “Making it easy to vote should not be done in partnership with partisan groups or in a biased manner that undermines the taxpayer's confidence in a public entity like the Universities of Wisconsin. Public universities using taxpayer dollars to focus on registering voters that favor one political party and then invite outside partisan groups to assist is cause for alarm.”

To read the full text of the letter, click here


On February 26, 2024, President Biden announced Department of Education Federal Work Study (FWS) funds could be used to support voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts ahead of the 2024 election. 

On March 12, 2024, Chairman Steil and Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairwoman Virginia Foxx sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Cardona demanding answers on the use of these funds.