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Pandemic relief: Instead of wasting billions, target aid at those who need it most

Feb 25, 2021 by AFP

In a new opinion piece in the New Hampshire Union Leader, Greg Moore, state director of Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire, urges Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan “to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” when the Senate takes up COVID-19 relief legislation in the coming weeks.

The priority, he writes, should be supporting efforts to recover stronger. While there are many ways to get there, Congress is off the track with the legislation now being considered.

For example, the House version includes $350 billion to bail out wasteful state and local governments that don’t actually need the money. But, as Moore writes:

In New Hampshire, we faced a projected $500 million deficit in the state budget due largely to weak revenues. The state responded to these negative forecasts by freezing hiring, pausing new spending, and recovering unspent state funds back into the budget. The result was a deficit of about $30 million heading into the next biennial budget. This response helped protect state taxpayers, and ensure that New Hampshire is not among the states pressing for another bailout.

Instead of lavishing money on those who don’t need it, lawmakers should be focused on timely, targeted, and temporary aid for those harmed by the pandemic.

“As is often the case, some policymakers seem more interested in trying to fund pet projects by linking them to the current emergency, and the result is a massive $1.9 trillion spending bill that at best wastes our money, and at worst may do more harm than good,” Moore writes.

For more details about what’s in the bill and why New Hampshire’s senators should oppose the current version, read Greg Moore’s op-ed in the Union Leader.