President Joe Biden’s Treasury Department wants COVID-19 funding back from Arizona because the state is sending money to districts that don’t have mask mandates — and the state’s Republican governor is taking them to court over it.
According to The Arizona Republic, Gov. Doug Ducey filed a lawsuit against the administration on Friday, alleging it was trying to “bully Arizona” into adopting Democrat-endorsed COVID policies by threatening to withhold or claw back money allocated under the American Rescue Plan.
The Biden administration using the power of the purse to punish states over masking in schools is a new low in the social tug-of-war over COVID policy, particularly since there’s little demonstrated benefit to the policies and considerable psychological costs. (Here at The Western Journal, we’ve been making readers aware of these facts since the beginning of the pandemic. You can help us continue to bring readers the truth by subscribing.)
In a Jan. 14 letter, the Treasury Department said Arizona’s $163 million Education Plus-Up Grant Program and its COVID-19 Educational Recovery Benefit Program undermined Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on reducing COVID transmission, according to The Hill.
The former program only funnels funds to schools without mask mandates, while the Educational Recovery Benefit Program provides up to $7,000-a-student payouts to parents whose children are in schools that have imposed “unnecessary closures and school mandates.”
The Treasury Department said in the letter that the funds allocated to Arizona under the American Rescue Plan were intended “to mitigate the fiscal effects stemming from the COVID-19 public health emergency, including by supporting efforts to stop the spread of the virus” and that the money must be used for programs that, in the administration’s view, don’t undermine efforts to prevent COVID transmission.
The Treasury Department gave Arizona 60 days to come into compliance and redirect the funds, warning that if they didn’t do so, they’d try to claw back the money and withhold further aid.
Ducey blasted the move on Twitter, calling it “the latest example of a President that is completely out of touch with the American people” and saying the administration was “attempting to rewrite rules around public dollars that will result in LESS funding to schools and kids — particularly in low-income communities.”
Do you support Arizona’s lawsuit?
“When it comes to education, President Biden wants to continue focusing on masks. In Arizona, we’re going to focus on math and getting kids caught up after a year of learning loss,” Ducey said. “We will respond to this letter, and we will continue to focus on things that matter to Arizonans.”
That response came Friday, when Arizona filed suit against the Biden administration over the threat to revoke funding.
This letter is the latest example of a President that is completely out of touch with the American people. 1/ https://t.co/Vx243HBKam
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 14, 2022
When it comes to education, President Biden wants to continue focusing on masks. In Arizona, we’re going to focus on math and getting kids caught up after a year of learning loss. 4/
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 14, 2022
We will respond to this letter, and we will continue to focus on things that matter to Arizonans. President Biden should do the same, and he can start by addressing the crisis at the border. 5/5
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 14, 2022
“Treasury’s actions far exceed the statutory authority granted to it under” the American Rescue Plan Act, the lawsuit read, according to The Hill.
The lawsuit states Ducey used money from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, or SLFRF, “to create two grant programs that addressed the long-term, negative economic impacts on disadvantaged communities from school closures and overbearing mask mandates. The programs empower parents and students to exercise their freedom to make informed decisions regarding their health and educational needs.”
Furthermore, the Treasury Department had previously noted states had, to quote their own guidance, “broad latitude to choose whether and how to use the [SLFRF funds] to respond to and address the negative economic impact” caused by COVID-19.
Ducey’s lawsuit said, “Treasury arbitrarily changed its guidance, and through a clear abuse of discretion, is seeking to unilaterally amend [the American Rescue Plan] by adding new health conditions on how SLFRF monies may be used.
“In particular, and even though Treasury has no background expertise in public health, Treasury recently issued a Final Rule that purports to prohibit SLFRF monies from being used in a manner that, in the subjective and ill-informed opinion of Treasury, would undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Furthermore, even if the Treasury were in a position to make bad public health judgments, the American Rescue Plan doesn’t authorize that, the suit alleges: “Nothing in that underlying statute authorizes Treasury to condition the use of SLFRF monies on following measures that, in the view of Treasury, stop the spread of COVID-19.”
“If Congress had truly intended to give Treasury the power to dictate public health edicts to the States, and recoup or withhold SLFRF monies based on an alleged lack of compliance with such edicts, it would have spoken clearly on the matter. It did not.”
Ducey, meanwhile, said in a statement that, “The Biden administration is attempting to hold congressionally-appropriated funds hostage and is trying to bully Arizona into complying with this power-grabbing move.”
A Treasury Department spokeswoman said the administration “believes the rule is correct and allowed by the statute and Constitution,” setting up a battle in court, according to The New York Times.
No matter how that ends legally, it’ll put the Biden administration in the uncomfortable position of defending policies that don’t “follow the science,” to use an execrable idiom.
Masking in schools hasn’t proved efficacious, no matter what the administration chooses to believe.
Gov. Ducey introduced two programs to combat it — and, because it doesn’t follow the administration’s dogmatic views regarding COVID, they want to take money away from Arizona. If this doesn’t tell you the battle is about politics and not public health, I don’t know what will.
National File is committed to ensuring your voice can and will be heard. To keep your speech free, we are switching our commenting platform to Insticator. Don’t worry! All you have to do is create a commenting account with Insticator. We will be transferring previous comments to our new site, and then you will be able to link your past comments to your new Insticator account. If you have any feedback or questions about your Insticator commenting account, please email them at: [email protected]
Nevada: Dems Shell Out Millions in Effort to Stop Trump-Backed Joe Lombardo in the GOP Primary
Democrat Super PACs are shelling out millions in an effort to stop Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo in Nevada. Democrat donors have contributed to numerous newly registered PACs that have been attacking the Clark County Sheriff.
Lombardo, who recently received a Trump endorsement, leads the GOP primary field by about 20 points, according to a recent poll.
“As Governor, Joe will fiercely Protect our under-siege Second Amendment, Oppose Sanctuary Cities, Support our Law Enforcement, Veto any Liberal Tax Increase, Protect Life, and Secure our Elections,” former President Trump wrote in an endorsement statement. “Joe Lombardo is the leader Nevada needs, and he has my Complete and Total Endorsement for Governor!”
President Donald J. Trump announces his endorsement of Joe Lombardo for Governor of Nevada pic.twitter.com/5tBkGNVM79
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) April 28, 2022
Since Trump announced his endorsement of Joe Lombardo in late April, Democrats have poured millions into newly registered super PACs geared towards attack campaigns. One example would be the “Stronger Nevada” PAC, has pledged to spend $2.1 million on Lombardo down the stretch of the primary campaign.
Stronger Nevada has no social media presence or website but is reportedly linked to the Democrat Governors Association, according to Breitbart News. In addition, the PAC’s staff includes two Democratic party operatives in Andrew Whalen and Jillian Edelman.
Another PAC, “Patriot Freedom Fund”, is run by the husband of progressive Nevada Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui. Patriot Freedom Fund sends mailers to Nevada Republicans falsely accusing Joe Lombardo of being soft on the Second Amendment, Breitbart News reported.
Both PACs were registered with Nevada’s Secretary of State after the first quarter fundraising deadline, which means their financial information will not be revealed until after the election.
Nevada GOP Chairman Michael J. McDonald condemned state Democrats for using “sleazy, shady stunts to sow chaos in our Republican primary.”
“Truman Fleming is the husband of the biggest advocate for gun control in the legislature,” McDonald said. “If Assemblywoman Jauregui was aware of this attack and gave her husband her blessing, she’s proven to no longer be fit to serve in the legislature.”
Nevada Governor Brian Sisolak, a Democrat, is seeking his second term in November.
The state has voted for the Democratic candidate in presidential elections since 2008, when Barrack Obama flipped the state. That may soon change, however, as Donald Trump leads Joe Biden by 10 in a hypothetical 2020 rematch, according to a recent poll.
Providence to Use Federal COVID Relief Funds for Reparations
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza plans to use the city’s federal COVID-19 relief funds for racial reparations. On Friday, the mayor signed a spending plan for $124 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding that will pave the way for the city to invest tens of millions of dollars into housing and infrastructure projects. Elorza has not ruled out direct payments for eligible individuals, which would include black Americans, as well as those who can prove Native American heritage.
“As a housing crisis persists across the state, the city is allocating $30.7 million to the issue, $17 million of which will go toward developing affordable units,” reported The Providence Journal. “The remainder of the category will be spent on rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, emergency housing, a home repair program and other initiatives.”
During a news conference on Friday, Esparza said spending decisions were driven by public input sought by the city’s COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Task Force, which was commissioned in January.
Addressing housing and homelessness was identified as a top priority by Providence respondents in a survey asking how American Rescue Plan funds should be spent, according to the city government. Input from “residents who participated in community meetings” was also weighed heavily.
Esparza justifies his city’s use of American Rescue Plan funds — which were allocated to states and municipalities by the federal government in order to deal with the economic fallout of pandemic lockdowns — by claiming the money is going to communities that were “hardest hit” by the virus. The “hardest hit” communities, according to the Providence city government, are populated by African Americans.
“We made it a point to go to those hardest hit neighborhoods and hardest hit communities and get an over-representative sample from those folks as well,” the mayor said. “But it still did not change the fundamental reality that regardless of where you are throughout the city, we have the same priorities.”
$10 million of the $124 million spending package will be going towards a racial reparations program in Providence. A committee will decide how exactly the funds will be spent, but the mayor has not ruled out direct payments to eligible recipients.
A 13-member panel has been tasked with examining reparation work being done in other municipalities and creating recommendations for ways the city can distribute the funds. NAACP Providence President Jim Vincent is among those already tapped to serve on the board, Elorza said.
“While we know the city alone cannot repair the full scope of harm, today’s action brings us another step closer to addressing the disparities our African heritage and Indigenous residents continue to face,” the mayor said in a written statement.
The Providence city government commissioned the reparations committee in 2020.
SoCal Jewelry Store Employees Fight Off Hammer-Wielding Smash-and-Grab Thieves with Their Own Fists! (VIDEO)
Orange County, California – Huntington Beach jewelry store employees on Sunday repelled smash-and-grab thieves with their own bare fists.
Surveillance footage shows thieves armed with hammers entering Princess Bride Diamonds at the Bella Terra mall at about noon.
The brave employees jumped into action immediately after one of the hooded thieves smashed a display case with a hammer and began punching and kicking the robbers.
Two of the employees are a brother and sister who work for the family business, KTLA 5 reported.
One of the female employees hit a robber over the head with a chair.
The thieves were stunned and eventually forced to retreat.
It is unclear if they took off with any stolen merchandise.
KTLA 5 interviewed the jewelry store employees after the melee.
“At some point while I was fighting them, one of them actually hit me in the head with a hammer, on the side of my left temple, but I didn’t even register it until after they left because there was so much like adrenaline going on,” employee Dallas Baca said.
Colorado Avalanche say Nazem Kadri has received threats after collision with goalie Jordan Binnington
What drivers said at the All-Star Race
Wiggins, Warriors slam the door on Doncic, Mavs
Proposed law in Maryland would allow mothers to kill their babies up to 28 days after birth
California introduces new bill that would allow mothers to kill their babies up to 7 days after birth
100+ nations have global agreement now being deployed called ‘Project Sandman’ to drop and end dominance of U.S. dollar and petrodollar
Miami Gardens woman arrested after she told neighbors she killed her husband and buried him in her backyard
HHS Secretary admits Biden administration knew about baby formula shortage last year, did nothing about it
AEW Dynamite: Owen Hart Tournaments begin, FTW title match, MJF/Wardlow contract signing for Double Or Nothing
News17 hours ago
Surviving a day of doom at a Florida prepper convention
Politics18 hours ago
Winner and Loser of the Week in Florida politics — Week of 5.15.22
News17 hours ago
Do Biden policy moves on Cuba, Venezuela doom Democrats’ chances in Florida?
Politics10 hours ago
EXC: The Infamous Wuhan Lab Recently Assembled Monkeypox Strains Using Methods Flagged For Creating ‘Contagious Pathogens’.
Politics10 hours ago
Archbishop Viganò Warns Nations of WHO’s Pandemic Treaty Power Grab: ‘Yielding Sovereignty Is Considered Crime of High Treason’
Politics10 hours ago
Bolsonaro Rejects WHO’s Pandemic Treaty: ‘Brazil Is Autonomous’
Sports22 hours ago
ATL 4, MIA 3; Marlins drop second straight versus Braves
Politics6 hours ago
One Death & 16 Hospitalizations At Brooklyn Marathon Over Heart Issues Has Vaccine Skeptics Saying ‘I Told You So’ — Sunday Night Live