Republican Senators blast ‘lawless’ Biden admin over COVID spending: ‘Time to stop’

An effort to save American taxpayers more than $13 billion by reining in wasteful spending has failed after Senate Democrats voted down Sen. Eric Schmitt’s, R-Mo., disapproval resolution. 

“Today, Senate Democrats chose to continue their effort to shelter unelected bureaucrats from any sort of accountability and embolden the Biden Administration’s disastrous efforts to waste more taxpayer money on pet projects unrelated to their original intent,” Schmitt said in a press release after Wednesday’s Senate vote.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Schmitt was joined by several other Midwest Republican Senators, including Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Sen. Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., who presented the disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act aimed at the Treasury Department’s alleged misuse of COVID recovery dollars.

“Biden, Senate Democrats, and the army of unelected bureaucrats in the administrative state have wreaked financial havoc on middle and working-class Americans from high prices to runaway inflation and everything in between. My work on this isn’t done – stay tuned,” Schmitt wrote. 

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Schmitt stated that a couple of years ago Congress passed legislation that authorized more than $300 billion to go out during the COVID emergency and that it’s supposed to expire at the end of this year.

“Inflation is sky-high, COVID is over, it’s time to stop this reckless spending,” Schmitt said.

He also said that the Senate would be presented with a very simple question: Do they want to reign in a “lawless” administration and save taxpayers at least $13 billion dollars?

“We got here because of Joe Biden’s policies. That’s where it got us here with our inflation and high interest rates. He got us here because of America’s attack on American energy as well as borrowing and printing money, some of which is the subject of Sen. Schmitt’s resolution to start clawing that back,” Marshall said during a press conference. 

“Joe Biden used COVID as an excuse to spend $1.9 TRILLION we don’t have. It caused inflation & it’s costing Americans over $12,000 more each year. Now Biden wants to break the law & extend the spending deadline for that money. I’m working with @SenEricSchmitt to stop him,” Ricketts wrote in a post on X. 

Marshall said interest rates are not going to come down until Congress stops borrowing and spending money.

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“Folks, the pandemic is over, thank goodness. Thank God the pandemic is over. It’s been over for four years now,” Marshall said. “We’ve seen different folks back home, you know, trying to use these COVID dollars. They have built golf courses and swimming pools, they’re spending them on illegal immigrants, that type of thing. That was not the intent of these dollars.”

“I think in any other time or place, this kind of wasteful spending and fraud would have been a scandal. But we hardly hear much of it from this administration,” Schmitt said.

The Biden administration issued a policy statement saying President Biden intended to veto the Congressional Review Act if it hit his desk, arguing that the bill could lead to projects being canceled midstream and reduce oversight of projects that are ongoing.

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“That’s a lie. I mean, we shouldn’t be surprised by that now,” Schmitt said. “It’s a total lie. Essentially, the obligations that are committed before the end of 2024, according to existing law, will be honored.”

“When this law was passed, every governor … knew exactly what the rules were and were structuring their programs around the rules,” Ricketts said. “So, if there’s somebody who says, ‘Oh, I didn’t know what those rules are,’ it’s not the truth. Everybody knew it going back to when this legislation was passed. And to say that somehow projects are not going to be completed or there’s not going to be oversight, it’s simply untrue, because all this had to be planned years ago to be able to make sure you’d obligate the dollars in the appropriate way. So, that’s a bunch of hooey, what he’s saying.”

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The resolution vote failed, 49-46. 

Fox News’ Brianna O’Neil contributed to this report.