DeSantis and Noem fret that COVID-19 relief money is somehow unfair to their states. Reality differs
That’s also important context for the whining from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is angry that the American Rescue Plan allocated money in part on state unemployment rates, leading to Florida getting “the short end of the stick compared to these other states.” Go figure, Florida is a habitual recipient of the long end of the federal taxation-and-funding stick compared to states like New York and California. DeSantis’ embrace of fairness doesn’t quite go there, though.
DeSantis’ budget made liberal use of the federal money, though—including for some plans that could lead the Treasury Department to claw back some of the funds spent on projects in violation of the law. He justified keeping the money on the claim that the federal government’s public health measures had gotten in the way of his excellent governance. Florida is currently ninth in COVID-19 deaths per million of population.
Arizona may see some of its American Rescue Plan money clawed back after Gov. Doug Ducey used it to undercut public health measures, including by paying schools not to require masks and giving students money to leave districts that did require masks.
Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas, Mike DeWine of Ohio, and Greg Gianforte of Montana are also on the list of Republicans complaining that the American Rescue Plan exists and/or that it won’t let them spend the money by cutting taxes on rich people, while also spending the money.