White House: ‘Bizarre’ That House Republicans Want Billions of Unspent COVID Funds Returned to Treasury

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday it was “bizarre” that House Republicans want to rescind unobligated coronavirus aid funds to the Treasury Department.

Fifty to sixty billion dollars in coronavirus taxpayer funds are unspent, according to FreedomWorks.

President Joe Biden suspended the coronavirus national emergency in April.

“Would he [Biden] be interested in reviewing whether there is some of that [COVID] money that could be returned to Treasury?” a reporter questioned Jean-Pierre during the White House press briefing.

Jean-Pierre praised Biden’s management of the pandemic but said the pandemic is not over. “But we are in a different place,” she claimed.

“It is bizarre, after the progress that we have seen, for Republicans to be asking this,” she said about returning taxpayer funds to the Treasury.

On Wednesday, House Republicans launched a plan to raise the debt limit with spending cuts. The bill would increase the debt limit by $1.5 trillion and cut spending by $130 billion. As reported by Breitbart News, the proposal would:

  • Rescind unobligated coronavirus aid money
  • Block “unfair” student loan giveaways
  • Repeal “market distorting green tax credits”
  • Repeal the roughly $80 billion in funding to hire 87,000 IRS agents made available thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act
  • Implement the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would curb the regulatory state
  • Enact H.R. 1, the Lower Costs Energy Act, a sweeping energy reform bill

Biden has refused to negotiate with Republicans while condemning the plan.

According to FactChecker.org, “Biden is cherry-picking Republican priorities that would add to the deficit, while ignoring that Republicans are also calling for spending cuts that would more than make up for those losses.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.

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