Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs questioned whether millions of dollars meant to offset economic damage due to COVID-19 lockdowns will actually be distributed to small businesses across the country that are on the brink of being wiped out.
Biggs, who is Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, appeared on Fox Business network last week with host David Asman. He pointed out that the CARES Act, which allocated $2.2 billion to COVID-19, did not have sufficient accountability to monitor where the funding was being allocated. He said the enormity of the funding, combined with the vast designations of how the package was to be divided among businesses made it easier for some to take advantage of the stimulus funding.
One major example, was a recent report from Fox News revealing a “highly questionable” $35 million contract that was awarded by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to a firm linked to President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign. Republicans with the House Oversight and House Administration Committees are demanding an investigation and saying it was a “misuse of taxpayer money and a violation of the law.”
According to Fox News, Padilla’s office allegedly allocated the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant money from the coronavirus stimulus package, known as the CARES Act, to fund a voter contract with SKD Knickerbocker. The firm is a public affairs and political consulting firm.
Republicans say that it is “Joe Biden’s main election campaign advisory firm.”
“What we have here is the California Secretary of State, secretary Padilla – here’s the deal, you’re not supposed to use HAVA, which is Help America Vote Act money to do voter outreach or voter contact at anytime, regardless of where the money is, specifically here,” said Biggs. “So he awards a $35 million contract, no bid – accelerated contract – to a firm associated with the Biden family.”
He added the money should have been allocated “to small business owners that are in trouble” and is demanding an investigation.
I certainly hope there is an investigation into this apparent misuse of funding and power. What happened to all the small business owners who have lost everything and their families because of these massive unnecessary lockdowns? Who’s going to help them and why should a public relations firm receive $35 million anyway?
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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