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The five worst examples of waste in the $1.9 trillion "COVID relief" bill

Published in Blog on February 23, 2021 by Convention Of States

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It's a day ending in "y," which means Congress is considering yet another "COVID-19 relief" bill.

Legislators received harsh criticism for the wasteful spending in previous relief legislation, but that hasn't stopped them from including tons of pork in this iteration. 

Here are the five worst examples of waste, courtesy of our friends at Open the Books:

  • $1.5 million earmarked for the Seaway International Bridge, which connects New York to Canada. Senate Leader Chuck Schumer hails from New York.
  • $50 million for “family planning” – going to non-profits, i.e. Planned Parenthood, or public entities, including for “services for adolescents[.]”
  • $350 billion to bailout the 50 States and the District of Columbia. The allocation formula uses the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2020. Therefore, states like New York and California –who had strict economic lockdown policies and high unemployment – will get bailout money. States like Florida and South Dakota – who were open for business – will get less.
  • $39.6 billion to higher education. This amount is three times the money – $12.5 billion – that higher-ed received with the massive CARES Act funding from last March.  
  • $270 million funds the National Endowment of the Arts and the Humanities (FY2019 budget: $253 million)

In total, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, only $825 billion of the $1.9 trillion package is directed towards actual COVID-19 relief. In other words, more than half of the bill is nothing but pork.

If not even a nationwide pandemic can keep our representatives from wasteful spending, we know they'll never changes their ways. We need to force them to adopt responsible fiscal habits, and the only way to do that is by calling the first-ever Article V Convention of States.

A Convention of States can propose constitutional amendments that limit Congress's ability to spend OUR money. These amendments can mandate a balanced budget every year while prohibiting Congress from raising taxes. Such an amendment will force our representatives to cut needless, wasteful spending and keep legislation focused on the problem at hand. 

Amendments can also reduce the size and scope of federal power. These reforms will also limit spending because they can shrink many federal agencies and eliminate others altogether. If only the states can make education policy, for example, the Department of Education will be significantly limited. 

It's time to get our nation's finances under control. Congress will never do it, which is why we must call on the states to call a Convention of States.

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Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington, DC.

I support the Convention of States Project; a national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.

I want our state to be one of the necessary 34 states to pass a resolution calling for this kind of Article V Convention. You can find a copy of the model resolution and the Article V Pocket Guide (which explains the process and answers many questions) here: https://conventionofstates.com/handbook_pdf

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