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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