Biden administration to claw back Covid aid from Arizona over anti-mask policies




  • In Politics
  • 2022-01-14 17:19:05Z
  • By The Guardian
Photograph: Ross D Franklin/AP
Photograph: Ross D Franklin/AP  

The Biden administration is threatening to recoup millions of dollars in Covid-19 relief funds from Arizona because the state has been discouraging families from following federal guidance that recommends wearing masks in schools.

Arizona's Republican governor, Doug Ducey, has been at odds with the Biden administration for months over the use of the aid funds. Other Republican governors across the country have also been trying to use the funding for measures - such as tax cuts - that are not related to the pandemic and are not authorized under the terms of the grants.

Two Arizona state programs meant to help schools and students have been directing funding away from jurisdictions with mask requirements. The state's Education Plus-Up Grant Program provides $163m in funding to schools, but districts that require face coverings are ineligible. And its Covid-19 Educational Recovery Benefit Program provides for up to $7,000 to help parents leave school districts that require children to wear face coverings.

The treasury department warned in a letter on Friday that the state has 60 days to remove the anti-masking provisions before the federal government moves to recover the relief money, and it threatened to withhold the next tranche of aid as well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends universal mask-wearing in school settings to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"By discouraging families and school districts from following this guidance, the conditions referenced above undermine efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19," the treasury department wrote. "Accordingly, these school programs as currently structured are ineligible uses of (Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds)."

Arizona has already received about half of the $4.2bn awarded to the state under the 2021 coronavirus relief bill.

More details soon …

COMMENTS

More Related News

Maryland Gov. Hogan says Biden
Maryland Gov. Hogan says Biden's plan to send at-home COVID-19 tests is 'hijacking' the state's plan to buy tests

Hogan said that the Biden administration appeared to be buying up tests that had already been ordered for distribution by states.

Trump
Trump's COVID and Election Falsehoods at Arizona Rally

WASHINGTON - During a rally in Arizona on Saturday, former President Donald Trump repeated his lie that the 2020 election was stolen and made other false...

My budget makes major investments that will leave Arizona even stronger
My budget makes major investments that will leave Arizona even stronger

My 2023 budget invests in key areas like education and water while cutting taxes and paying down debt, leaving Arizona stronger, Gov. Doug Ducey says.

A former top Obama economist throws cold water on the Biden administration
A former top Obama economist throws cold water on the Biden administration's favorite inflation argument: 'Corporate greed is a bad theory'

Jason Furman also pushed back on Joe Manchin's case that Biden's big bill would worsen inflation, calling it "a bad reason" to oppose the measure.

Flashback to 1962, but Vladimir Putin is no Nikita Khrushchev, Joe Biden is no John F. Kennedy | Opinion
Flashback to 1962, but Vladimir Putin is no Nikita Khrushchev, Joe Biden is no John F. Kennedy | Opinion
  • World
  • 2022-01-16 06:38:08Z

Carl von Clausewitz, the XIX Century Prussian military strategist, wrote that "war is the continuation of politics by other means." Vladimir Putin's foreign ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Politics