Senators question Biden administration’s request for more funds, want assurance existing aid being spent effectively
Mar 02 2022
WASHINGTON – After President Biden reiterated in the State of the Union address his plans to ask Congress for additional COVID-19 funding, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and 34 of their Republican colleagues in sending a letter to the president requesting an accounting of how the federal government has allocated trillions in taxpayer funds to combat the pandemic. Specific answers to these questions are vital before Congress considers additional COVID-19 funding requests from the White House.
“Recent news reports indicate the administration is poised to request an additional $30 billion from Congress for its response to COVID-19,” the senators wrote. “While we have supported historic, bipartisan measures in the United States Senate to provide unprecedented investments in vaccines, therapeutics, and testing, it is not yet clear why additional funding is needed.”
“…Since passage of the American Rescue Plan in February, questions are mounting about where exactly the additional money has gone,” the senators continued. “A recent investigative report from the Washington Post headlined, ‘‘Immense fraud’ creates immense task for Washington as it tries to tighten scrutiny of $6 trillion in emergency coronavirus spending,’ details the federal government’s shocking failure to provide the American public with a faithful accounting of how it has spent its money.”
“Before we would consider supporting an additional $30 billion for COVID-19 relief, Congress must receive a full accounting of how the government has already spent the first $6 trillion,” the senators concluded.
Joining Boozman and Romney in penning the letter were Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Richard Burr (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tim Scott (R-SC), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Todd Young (R-IN).
The full text of the letter can be found here.