Watchdog Urges Congress to Keep Pet Projects Out of Fourth Relief Package

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

April 1, 2020

For Immediate Release
April 1, 2020
Contact: Grace Morgan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urged Congress to refrain from inserting unrelated spending provisions into any upcoming Coronavirus-related relief legislation. Recent reports indicate that both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Trump are eyeing significant short-term spending increases on legislative “priorities” that have little to do with containing the Coronavirus pandemic. Politico reports that Speaker Pelosi, “signaled to her caucus that infrastructure would likely be part of the ‘phase 4’ package, specifically ticking off priorities like water systems, broadband and the energy grid.” President Trump tweeted similar sentiments on March 31, arguing, “this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill.” 

TPA President David Williams criticized these calls for unrelated spending, noting that, “the Coronavirus continues to take countless lives as households and businesses continue to grapple with the worst public health emergency seen in a century. Sadly, members of Congress and the Trump administration want to use this crisis to advance their personal agendas and pet projects that have absolutely nothing to do with the crisis at hand. Private companies have proven capable of building and maintaining broadband and energy grid systems and by all indications are continuing to do so amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Our elected officials should leave this work to companies that are more than up to the task of keeping households connected, and focus on providing relief to individuals, families, and businesses that are struggling to stay above water. Now is the time to help people and businesses in need instead of fulfilling ideological wish lists or scoring political points.”

Williams continued: “On March 27, the Trump administration and Congress demonstrated to the country that they were willing to set aside their differences and pass an imperfect relief bill that provides direct aid to millions of Americans dealing with layoffs, pay cuts, and unexpected medical expenses. In a departure from usual partisan games, lawmakers rejected Speaker Pelosi’s astonishingly wasteful $2.5 trillion proposed grab bag of pork projects. But just a week after Congress and the Trump administration rejected Speaker Pelosi’s outrageous bill, elected representatives are already considering a similar package of pork-barrel spending. Spending trillions of dollars on infrastructure projects would take vital resources away from struggling Americans while sidelining the private companies who are putting their investments on the line every day to provide broadband and energy services to beleaguered businesses and households.”

Williams concluded: “If Congress truly wants to expand relief at such a difficult time, they should move to cut workers’ payroll taxes and remove the taxes and regulations keeping internet providers and electricity companies from doing their jobs. These measures, not wasteful ‘infrastructure’ spending, will help get America back on track.”