More Than $1T in COVID Funding Remains Unspent as Democrats Demand More Money from Taxpayers

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Posted: Jul 27, 2021 4:00 PM
More Than $1T in COVID Funding Remains Unspent as Democrats Demand More Money from Taxpayers

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

A new report from the Government Accountability Office on how taxpayer funds are being used in the name of "relief" from effects of the Wuhan coronavirus is being highlighted by Republicans this week as evidence that the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress are demanding more money from the American people than is spendable in furthering their radical agenda. 

Specifically, the report from the GAO confirmed that one trillion dollars in federal funds initially designated for Wuhan coronavirus relief over the last year remain unspent. Included in the staggering total of unused funds are $156 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services — under which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention falls — and $210 billion that was intended to help state and local governments across the country. 

In her June 21 press briefing, the White House's Jen Psaki claimed that there would only be "minimal, very small amounts that would be leftover" from earlier COVID relief bills, a response that deserves some circling-back to see whether she was wrong about how much would remain unspent by now or if she believes more than $1 trillion is a "minimal" or "small amount." 

Neither the Biden administration nor its allies on Capitol Hill are known for being frugal with taxpayer dollars, so Republicans are using the apparent overages to call into question just how much funding is truly needed while shining a spotlight on Democrat attempts to use trillions more taxpayer dollars on infrastructure and other Biden priorities. 

"Despite over $1 trillion in unspent federal funds sitting in accounts, Democrats are focused instead on how they can spend trillions more by reaching back into taxpayers’ pockets or adding more to the nation’s debt,” explained Rep. Jason Smith, a Republican from Missouri who serves as the ranking member on the House Budget Committee. "The historic level of inflation our country is facing, fueled by the President’s misguided spending policies, amounts to a pay cut and a tax hike on every worker and family in America," Smith added. "This country cannot afford the continued reckless tax and spending spree Washington Democrats are proposing."

This isn't the first time Republicans have criticized their colleagues across the aisle for throwing money around without proving need or guaranteeing responsible use. Back in February the House Ways and Means Committee, helmed by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), released an analysis that showed one-third of the roughly $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund remained unspent as Democrats sought $350 billion from taxpayers for additional relief spending. 

Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson warned back in March that throwing more money into the equation when previous pools of taxpayer funds remained unspent "could spark harmful inflation," a fear that turned out to be more than justified — and he's hardly the only Republican lawmaker to point out the apparently unnecessary use of taxpayer funds as Biden and congressional Democrats spend their way through the year for pet projects under the guise of COVID relief.