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ICYMI: Lessons for Congress from Biden’s failed COVID ‘American Rescue Plan’

Feb 14, 2022 by AFP

The legislation was a boondoggle of wasted spending that Congress must reject in the future.

 

Fox News

By Emily Seidel

February 14, 2022

 

Last year, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan (ARP) — a nearly $2 trillion bill sold as a critical boost to a flagging economy, allegedly “focused on what people need most.” In hindsight, opponents were right about the bill — and the legislators who supported this wasteful and damaging deficit spending should be accountable.

Where did Congress and the White House go wrong?

It was a mistake to provide more than $520 billion to states and localities that were already seeing a rebound in tax revenues when the bill was under consideration. A year later, many states are spending historic budget surpluses. Instead of refunding it to taxpayers who are still dealing with coronavirus concerns, some states regard tax reductions as something they may be “forced” into.

The ARP also failed to deliver on the promises of supporters that it would help ensure students were educated despite the pandemic. Taxpayers were told it was crucial to provide billions in new spending on rapid and reliable testing, “to help schools reopen.” Instead, more than one million public school students were dealing with district-wide school closures at the start of this year. And coronavirus testing remained a problem thanks to bad management and bureaucratic incompetence.

After signing the bill into law, President Biden noted the potential for fraud and misuse of these funds, and highlighted the need for oversight, transparency and accountability in implementing the law.

Despite these warnings, leaders in Congress have largely washed their hands of oversight responsibility, with little effort to prevent waste or find better uses for dollars that go unspent.

That’s irresponsible. And it leads directly to reckless waste of taxpayer dollars.

The American Rescue Plan represents the latest case of a massive deficit spending bill that was sold as the answer to all our problems, but which turned out to be full of unaffordable boondoggles. Congress must reject this path in the future. And in the meantime, there’s still an opportunity to prevent waste of money that has not been spent and to learn and apply lessons going forward.

Click here to read more: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/lessons-congress-biden-failed-covid-american-rescue-plan

Emily Seidel is president and Chief Executive Officer of Americans for Prosperity.