April 07, 2022

Smith Exposes Billions in COVID Waste, Taxpayer Funds Diverted to Biden’s Border Crisis During Budget Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during a hearing of the House Budget Committee with the Biden Administration’s Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Xavier Becerra, House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08) exposed the Biden Administration’s failed COVID response, including billions in misspent and wasted tax dollars from the American Rescue Plan – funding Democrats claim was meant to fight COVID but instead went towards local and state government pet projects and to house illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. southern border. During his opening remarks, Smith explained how President Biden shut down Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration’s program that delivered two safe and effective vaccines in record time, and diverted money meant for COVID-19 testing and vaccines to house illegal immigrants at the southern border: “When the Biden Administration came into power, it inherited two authorized and incredibly effective vaccines, therapeutics, testing, and a national distribution network. Yet, somehow, the government seemed to have its worst response yet to the pandemic in 2021.   “In his first month in office, President Biden shut down Operation Warp Speed – the Trump Administration program that had set you all up for success. In March 2021, Democrats passed their $2 trillion American Rescue Plan, claiming it was urgently needed for ‘COVID relief.’ But less than nine percent of those funds went to fighting the virus. Dozens of examples and billions of dollars’ worth of waste as a result of this law have been documented: taxpayer dollars going to build parking lots, golf courses, luxury apartments, and sports stadiums, among others.   “Your department diverted $1 billion from a NIH study for ‘long-COVID’ to house illegal immigrants at the border. You then backfilled NIH’s funding with money meant for COVID vaccines and testing. Last summer, you rerouted even more money – $2 billion to be exact – this time from the American Rescue Plan, to house illegal immigrants. In short, our own government is using taxpayer dollars to prioritize illegal immigrants over its citizens.” Click here or on the image below to watch House Budget Committee Republican Leader Smith’s full opening remarks.

smith budget hearing

During the hearing, House Budget Committee Republican Leader Smith questioned HHS Secretary Becerra about the trail of waste and mismanagement left behind by the Biden Administration’s so-called American Rescue Plan. Smith noted that millions of dollars were spent to plant trees in New York, build parking lots in South Carolina, send stimulus checks to Japanese citizens living in Japan and convicted prisoners – none of which supported the public health response to COVID. Click here or on the image below to watch the exchange.

covid relief tweet

Smith also pressed the HHS Secretary about the Biden Administration’s use of American tax dollars to fly illegal immigrants from the southern border to other parts of the country. Click here or on the image below to watch the exchange.

flying immigrants tweet

Last week, House Budget Committee Republican Leader Smith released Biden’s FY23 Budget: Another Year of Crisis – a memo highlighting the various ways in which the President’s FY23 budget would further fuel a spending and inflation crisis, debt crisis, economic and tax crisis, energy crisis, border crisis, security and crime crisis, and education crisis while the Administration is covering up the cost and failed policies of the President’s Build Back Better agenda. Watch the full House Budget Committee hearing on President Biden’s HHS FY23 Budget.