Democratic state and local governments are being accused of wasting millions of dollars obtained from the federal government through the CARES Act on various issues that have nothing to do with the CCP Virus or the economic crisis resulting from its effects.
The Coronavirus Economic Assistance, Relief, and Security (CARES) Act provided $139 billion in funding to state and local governments to reduce the impact of the CCP Virus on the economic and social situation of Americans and on the health care system.
According to Fox News, there are currently several reports that many Democratic governors are funding different causes unrelated to the direct impacts of the virus.
One of the denunciations falls on the Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, who announced that she will spend $24 million to finance the university studies of more than 600,000 people who worked in some “essential” area during the last few months.
The Democratic mayor of St. Paul, Melvin Carter, recently announced on his Twitter account a basic income program for low-income families using $300,000 in CARES Act money. In principle it would be an incentive of $500 per month to 150 families, extra to any other government aid.
Our People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot Program will support our most vulnerable families while helping build the case for permanent guaranteed income programs at state and federal levels. https://t.co/etfaHoKM1B
— Mayor Melvin Carter (@MayorCarter) September 4, 2020
Carter has been criticized even by his own Democratic colleagues. According to the local Twin Cities Pioneer Press, such is the case of Betty McCollum, a Democratic representative from Carter’s hometown, who in early September wrote a letter expressing her concern that Carter was doing something outside the terms of the CARES Act and therefore possibly facing legal action from the U.S. Treasury.
McCollum asked in the letter, “Without explicit federal approval, is the City prepared to take on costly litigation should the Trump administration challenge the legality of the pilot program?”
In fact, according to Fox, the U.S. Treasury was not aware of any communication from Carter’s office on the issue.
Criticism from Republicans revolves around the fact that the money contributed by the CARES Act should be used purely and exclusively to help those who are really fighting the CCP Virus or have been victims, whether for health or for the economy. But at no point should it be used to rescue economies broken by previous bad administrations or for political or ideological issues not strictly related to the CCP Virus.
It should be noted that Congress is still expected to approve another economic aid package agreed to under the same law. However, just under 25% of the funds Congress allocated to state and local governments for virus relief have been spent so far. This totally discredits the pressure from Democrats for more funding of this kind.