WASHINGTON — Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) is calling on the Department of the Treasury to release detailed information regarding the potential misuse of $350 billion in COVID-19 aid allocated to state, local, territorial, and tribunal governments. The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program was created — through the American Rescue Plan — to address pandemic-era economic challenges faced by states and localities, but instead was used to bankroll pet-projects and benefit left-wing political agendas.
Federal government spending of American taxpayer dollars reached an all-time high during the COVID-19 pandemic, rendering a thorough account of the SLFRF program critical to prevent further waste, fraud, and abuse, and essential to recommending future legislative priorities. The Select Subcommittee’s investigation seeks to hold accountable any recipients that used SLFRF for unintended or questionable projects and programs unrelated to COVID-19.
"[T]he SLFRF—like many other COVID-19 programs—possessed very few common-sense restrictions that could have protected the American taxpayer. Additionally, its seemingly unlimited terms have made it difficult for Congress to conduct a sufficient accounting of the program. Still, there’s been numerous credible reports of states and cities using the SLFRF for questionable projects and programs unrelated to COVID-19—including to replace irrigation systems on golf courses, to purchase a privately owned ski resort, to increase prize winnings for horse racing competitors, and to build a luxury hotel. Recently, it was reported that Providence, Rhode Island used $10 million of COVID-19 relief funds to create the Providence Municipal Reparations Commission to address 'racial equity,'"wrote Chairman Wenstrup.
Read Chairman Wenstrup’s letter to Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen here.