CARES Act Relief Money Used For Pet Projects Instead

In March, President Trump signed the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) to provide relief for struggling American families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES act designated $139 billion to state and local governments to be used exclusively for public health costs. Democrat politicians have been using the taxpayer dollars allocated to states in the coronavirus relief bill to fund their pet projects.

The aid money has been steered towards liberal priorities and not much else. It was supposed to help with police budgets, rent, utility, and overall financial support. Democratic politicians, on the other hand, have been using the money to experiment with basic income programs and free college.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced she would be using $24 million of CARES Act money to offer free college to 625,000 essential coronavirus workers. The Washington Recreation & Park Association has decided to use the CARES Act money to buy treat bags that will be placed in the trunks of cars on Halloween. 

St Paul Mayor Melvin Carter will be using $300,000 to test trial a universal basic income project. He would be signing an order to give 150 families $500 per month, no strings attached. The CARES Act required that the funding be expanded by Dec. 30, which runs against Carter’s 18-month timeline for the demonstration project.

None of these projects have anything to do with the families and small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Council meetings have been questioning whether or not these projects even meet the federal requirements for CARES Act spending. Betty McCollum, a member of Congress, even questioned Mayor Carter in a letter if the state would be liable for “claw-backs” or sanctions if the Treasury Department seeks a return of funds. It is a slippery slope the Dem politicians are going down.

“This is an innovative and potentially transformative policy experiment you are leading. It will require careful design, implementation, and oversight by your administration. I know the City is aware that every precaution must be taken to avoid unintentionally violating federal law pertaining to the use of federal funds or making participants in the pilot ineligible for existing income-determined public programs,” McCollum said. 

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is also using some of the CARES Act money for unrelated reasons. He is using $629,000 to hire more than a dozen community relations specialists and another $200,000 to pressure-wash sidewalks in one part of his city. 

States are racing to use the funds before they are forced to return unused monies to the Department of Treasury by December 30, 2020. Democrats have been blocking every relief bill they can with Republicans to fight for more money for the struggling American families, then don’t even allocate that money to the people. 

It’s a race for the Democrats to spend money on pet projects before the year is over, but we shouldn’t be surprised to see them demanding nearly $1 trillion more for state and local governments. We already know the money isn’t for the people, it’s for them.