Illinois Republicans Demand Transparency from Pritzker Regarding Federal COVID-19 Relief Funding
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives John Shimkus (IL-15), Darin LaHood (IL-18), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Rodney Davis (IL-13), and Mike Bost (IL-12) renewed their demand for greater transparency of Illinois’ use of federal assistance. The delegation criticized Governor J.B. Pritzker for failing to fully utilize funding already allocated by Congress in multiple COVID-19 relief packages and refusing to disclose information about how smaller, rural municipalities can receive funding as Congress intended.
The U.S. Treasury Department Inspector General published data this week showing how much each state was given from the federal government and how much each state has spent as of June 30th. According to the report, the State of Illinois received $3,518,945,366 and spent only $505,085,663 or 14.4% of the federal COVID-19 relief funding allocated by Congress as of June 30th.
In May, Illinois Republicans sent a letter to Governor Pritzker requesting information about the process for smaller units of local government to obtain federal funding sent to the state and how much funding was sent to smaller units of local government. No information was provided in response to that letter.
"We continue to hear from local leaders in our districts who are struggling because of COVID-19 and Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders. The lack of transparency regarding the federal funding sent to Illinois to support our communities through this pandemic is unacceptable. While Governor Pritzker continues to criticize the federal government and call for additional federal support, he must immediately provide information to the public about how the federal taxpayer money he is withholding will be disbursed and a process for how smaller units of government can get access to the funding,” said Republican members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has passed four pieces of legislation to provide support to Illinois communities and families. Illinois Republicans supported all four pieces of bipartisan legislation.
On March 4, 2020, Congress passed the first emergency coronavirus package (H.R. 6074), which was signed into law by President Trump on March 6, 2020. This included $7.8 billion in funds to expand testing capabilities across the country, bolster state and local response efforts, and purchase essential equipment and supplies.
On March 14, 2020, Congress passed the second emergency coronavirus package (H.R. 6201), which was signed into law by President Trump on March 18, 2020. This package included paid sick and medical leave for workers, required insurance companies to cover the cost of testing for COVID-19, and increased access to telehealth.
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act (H.R. 748), which President Trump signed on the same day. This package provided almost $2 trillion in relief, including direct financial payments to Americans, funds to support health care workers and hospitals, expanded unemployment insurance, loans for small businesses, and funds to state and local governments.
On April 23, 2020, Congress passed another funding measure (H.R. 266) to replenish programs authorized in the CARES Act. This legislation appropriated an additional $321 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (bringing total to $659 billion), $10 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (bringing total to $20B), and another $50 billion for the disaster loan programs account. It also provided another $75 billion for hospital reimbursements (bringing total to $175 billion) as well as $25 billion for testing.