Washington Watch

Moolenaar bill would apply leftover COVID funds to the deficit

Bill has yet to reach the floor of the U.S. House

In January, Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Caledonia, proposed a bill titled the Saving Taxpayers’ Money and Paying America’s Debt Act. The bill would take any leftover funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and move it all to back to the Treasury “for the sole purpose of deficit reduction.”

Read it for yourself: House Resolution 564: Saving Taxpayers’ Money and Paying America’s Debt Act

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the American Rescue Plan “includes $30.5 billion in federal funding to support the nation’s public transportation systems as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and support the President’s call to vaccinate the U.S. population.”

Transportation was vital during the pandemic lockdowns as online purchases soared. But it was passed on nearly a party-line vote, with two House Democrats voting against it and no Republicans voting for it, according to GovTrack.

The law was enacted during a declared emergency, but the lockdown era ended long ago. Michigan hasn’t had statewide COVID restrictions since 2021.

The World Health Organization earlier in May announced that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about a week later formally declared that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency was over, and in April Congress terminated the emergency declared by President Donald Trump.

Ewan Hayes is a Michigan Capitol Confidential intern.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.