Arizona is suing the Biden Administration for threatening to recover COVID-19 funds

Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug Ducey Some in the GOP begin testing the party’s locking step loyalty to Trump Trump beats Biden down and makes unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud at the first meeting in 2022 Trump to make election demands in downtown Arizona MORE (R) on Friday sued the Biden administration after it threatened to reclaim its COVID-19 funding unless the state stops sending it to schools without mask mandates.

Last week, the Treasury Department warned the state in a letter that it would go to recover COVID-19 relief aid that had been issued to the state if Arizona did not correct the funding properly.

The Biden administration had said that programs or services that include conditions that violate COVID-19 proliferation could not use federal funding.

In Arizona, up to $ 7,000 per can be provided. pupil to parents whose children go to schools that impose “unnecessary closures and school mandates”, thereby creating educational and financial barriers. In addition to the $ 10 million educational recovery program, the state also has a Plus-Up Grant program where only schools that do not impose mask mandates can receive funding.

“Treasury’s actions far exceed the statutory authority given to it under” the U.S. Rescue Planning Act, “Ducey said in the lawsuit against the Biden administration.

“Nothing in the underlying statute authorizes the Ministry of Finance to condition the use of [Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund] money to follow measures that, in the Department of Finance’s view, will stop the spread of COVID-19, “it added.” alleged non-compliance with such edicts, it would have spoken clearly about the matter. It did not. “

The lawsuit claimed that even if the Ministry of Finance had been given broad authority over setting conditions for COVID-19 emergency assistance, it would have violated the constitutional expenditure clause and a non-delegation doctrine.

“This court should declare the final rule invalid, declare that the Treasury Department has acted arbitrarily and capriciously and has abused its discretion, and order the Treasury Department to violate the law,” the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Arizona.

The lawsuit comes as the Biden administration struggles with a series of lawsuits led by mostly Republican government officials over COVID-19 protocols, particularly vaccine mandates. Several Republican governors, including Ducey, have spoken out against mask mandates, though health officials have argued they will help prevent further spread of the virus.

The Hill has contacted the Treasury Department for a comment.


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