The Oct. 7 letter follows a Sept. 16 letter from Sen. Ed Markey and House members Bill Keating, Lori Trahan, Stephen Lynch, Jake Auchincloss, and Seth Moulton urging the Treasury watchdog to review Florida’s “apparent misuse” of money derived from the American Rescue Plan in order to fund his political scheme. “According to the Florida statute at issue, the ‘relocation program’ was founded using interest earnings associated with COVID-19 relief funding,” lawmakers said.
“If true, we believe this program misuses federal COVID-19 relief funds and violates federal law,” lawmakers said in the letter. “Accordingly, we request that you investigate Florida and take all necessary action—including potentially rescinding any misused funds—to stop this abuse of coronavirus relief programs.”
The civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) had this past June urged the Treasury Department to open a probe into the Florida governor. DeSantis had not yet launched his cruel stunt dumping migrants across the country, but he had been seeking to use $12 million in federal coronavirus funding to aid his anti-immigrant platform. SPLC had warned in its letter that the “proposed misuse of these funds reinforces anti-immigrant policies,” as well as “sets a dangerous precedent.”
Damn, was that on money. DeSantis had already signaled last fall that he was going to make a scandal out of entirely routine flights that the federal government carries out, including under the insurrectionist president. When that didn’t stick long enough to his liking, he went to Texas to just carry out his own flights.
Markey’s office said it has been in contact with federal, state, and local officials regarding DeSantis’ cruel transportation of dozens of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, with support from nonprofits like the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition and the Venezuelan Association of Massachusetts. Markey’s office noted efforts to ensure that vulnerable children and adults transported by DeSantis from Texas to Massachusetts have been met with “continued care.”
DeSantis is not the only anti-immigrant governor under investigation by the Treasury watchdog, as a matter of fact. This past spring, Delmar said the department would be launching a probe into whether Texas Gov. Greg Abbott misused federal pandemic funds to keep his illegal Operation Lone Star border stunt operational. The Washington Post reported possible misuse of as much as $1 billion.
Congressional lawmakers led by Texas’ Joaquin Castro and Veronica Escobar had urged the watchdog to investigate Abbott using federal funds like his personal ATM for racist hate, writing that he was diverting money from critical public sector resources. “It is negligent and irresponsible for Governor Abbot to direct additional funding to Operation Lone Star, especially if the funding in question was intended to help Texans rebuild from the pandemic,” they wrote.
More recently, soldiers deployed to the border by Texas have found out they may have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars in back taxes due to a screwup by state officials.
“[We] basically got told it’s on the individual soldier to figure it out and that's moreso what the frustrating part was,” one soldier told The Texas Tribune and Military Times. “Because that’s the typical answer that we’ve gotten from the Texas Army National Guard, like ‘hey, we need help’ and they basically just say, ‘well, you just are going to have to figure it out.’”
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