This week, U.S. Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., asked their U.S. Senate colleagues to urge their respective states to immediately provide information about how they have allocated billions of dollars received from the CARES Act and other federal coronavirus response measures. This information is critical as Congress considers additional relief measures. The senators also wrote a letter to the National Governors Association requesting a quick response from its members.
The senators’ letter to their colleagues is below.
The coronavirus pandemic has created new and unprecedented challenges that require all levels of government to work together. As you know, Congress worked in a bipartisan fashion to pass a series of bills to respond to the coronavirus and its economic consequences, including the CARES Act, authorizing $2.9 trillion to provide financial support to individuals, businesses, and other entities affected by the COVID19 crisis. States and local governments received over $1 trillion in funding, including $150 billion to directly respond to the crisis through the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Congress has taken bold action to stem the spread of the virus and save our economy. As Congress considers additional ways to help individuals and small businesses that are struggling, it is important to keep in mind that state and local governments are still spending the $1 trillion in taxpayer funds already allocated. On June 15th, we wrote every governor in the country to ask for an update on how their states have allocated funds from the CARES Act and other federal coronavirus response measures.
We thank those states that have been forthcoming with this information. The following states and territories have responded to date: California, Guam, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont.
We are disappointed in the lack of response from 42 states. Therefore, we write today to ask that you consider encouraging the remaining states to immediately share this important information, which should be readily available, if not already submitted to the federal government for oversight activities by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
Our nation is facing tremendous fiscal challenges, as evidenced by the fact that this year’s federal budget deficit will be the largest in the history of our nation. We appreciate your attention to this important matter and look forward to working with you to protect taxpayer dollars as we work to recover from this virus and the economic devastation it has caused.