* Here we go again…
Democratic governors on Thursday begged Congress to come to the aid of ailing states, which face unexpected expenses as they attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 as well as massive revenue shortfalls due to the pandemic.
But Republicans at a House hearing rejected their pleas, arguing that states have yet to spend money provided by Congress earlier this year, and prospects appeared to dim for any kind of deal on additional emergency aid before the election. […]
Republicans have characterized such aid as a “blue state bailout” and denied the need for additional money — a point [Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina] made again Thursday. He pointed to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service that found that roughly 25% of the $150 billion approved in March had been spent as of June 30.
“Democrats are using this hearing to claim that states are struggling,” he said, “but it certainly isn’t due to a lack of funding.”
The states (and local governments, for that matter) haven’t been able to spend all the money because of the way Congress drafted the bill. The law explicitly forbids the federal cash from being used to plug revenue holes caused by the international economic crash. It can only be used for unexpected costs.
Reporters have constantly fallen for this gross misdirection, including in Illinois. As Charlie Wheeler used to tell cub reporters: Always read the bill.
Also, June 30th was the end of the fiscal year for lots of states. Just more DC gaslighting.