Treasury Department Has Distributed Fraction of Emergency Rent Assistance with Just Days Until Evictions Begin

US Treasury Dept

The Department of the Treasury has awarded a small fraction of the tens of billions of dollars Congress appropriated for pandemic rental assistance since January.

The federal government has expended less than $3 billion of the $46.6 billion in funds given to the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, the Treasury Department announced on Wednesday. The U.S. doled out $1.49 billion from January through May and $1.5 billion in June to low-income renters nationwide, according to a spreadsheet published by the Treasury.

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Alabama Becomes Latest State to End $300 Unemployment Bonus

Close up of federal check

Alabama will soon cease participating in the federal government’s unemployment insurance program that grants out-of-work Americans an extra $300 per week, the state’s governor said.

Republican Gov. Kay Ivey announced that the state would withdraw from the coronavirus relief program by June 19, 2021, arguing that the $300 in additional weekly payments was incentivizing people not to look for jobs. She suggested that the labor shortages reported in states across the country have been caused by the unemployment boost.

“As Alabama’s economy continues its recovery, we are hearing from more and more business owners and employers that it is increasingly difficult to find workers to fill available jobs, even though job openings are abundant,” Ivey said in a statement.

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Commentary: Federal ‘COVID’ Spending Just Hit $41,870 Per Taxpayer

President Biden just signed his sweeping $1.9 trillion spending package into law. Once this bill hits the books, total taxpayer expenditure on (ostensibly) COVID relief will hit $6 trillion—which, roughly estimated, comes out to $41,870 in spending per federal taxpayer. 

Did you see anywhere near that much in benefit? 

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Billions of Coronavirus Stimulus Money Still Hasn’t Been Spent, Republican Senators Say in Letter to Biden

US Capitol

A group of ten Republican senators outlined a less expensive coronavirus relief compromise bill and said much of the past stimulus passed during the pandemic hasn’t been spent yet.

The proposed stimulus framework builds on prior legislation that passed with bipartisan support, the 10 senators wrote in the letter Sunday. The group, which included Sens. Mitt Romney, Thom Tillis, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, also requested a meeting with President Joe Biden to discuss the bill.

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Commentary: The Constitutional Politics of President Trump’s Impoundment Move

To understand President Trump’s signing of the latest so-called COVID-19 “stimulus” bill after days of veto threats, we need to understand the critical constitutional history of the Watergate era. 

Citing the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, Trump declared, “I will sign the Omnibus and COVID package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.” 

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Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen. Bernie Sanders Push Bill Taxing Billionaires 60 Percent to Fund One Year of Healthcare for All

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) and Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) introduced a bill Friday to tax billionaires sixty percent of their pandemic-earned assets. The proposed bill, “Make Billionaires Pay Act,” would use the tax money to cover individual healthcare expenses for one year.

In a tweeted video, Sanders argued billionaires have profited off the coronavirus pandemic while the rest of the country has suffered.

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