Arizona Governor Doug Ducey clapped back at the Biden administration after the U.S. Treasury Department warned the State that it could take back relief funds given to Arizona in response to the Governor’s plan to allow children to attend open schools without mask mandates.
This letter is the latest example of a President that is completely out of touch with the American people. 1/ https://t.co/Vx243HBKam
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 14, 2022
The governor then continue is a string of tweets:
First, a failed attempt to mandate vaccines. Then, a complete disregard for the public safety and humanitarian crisis at the southern border. 2/
Now, attempting to rewrite rules around public dollars that will result in LESS funding to schools and kids — particularly in low-income communities. 3/
When it comes to education, President Biden wants to continue focusing on masks. In Arizona, we’re going to focus on math and getting kids caught up after a year of learning loss. 4/
We will respond to this letter, and we will continue to focus on things that matter to Arizonans. President Biden should do the same, and he can start by addressing the crisis at the border. 5/5
According to the New York Times, the Treasury Department could attempt to “claw back some of the state’s pandemic aid and withhold future payments if the state did not halt or redesign programs that use the money to undercut mask requirements in schools.”
“The warning was the latest development in a dispute between Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, and the Biden administration over how the $4.2 billion that was awarded to the state as part of the relief package that Congress passed last year can be used. Republican governors in several states have been trying to use the money for unauthorized purposes, such as cutting taxes or enacting immigration policies that are unrelated to the pandemic,” reported the Times.
Ducey’s alternative plan for the money “provides up to $1,800 in additional funding per pupil in public and charter schools,” if the schools follow all state laws,” open for in-person instruction, and refuse to put in place mask mandates.
“In the letter, the Treasury Department said that if Arizona does not cease or change the programs within 60 days, it could start a process to recoup the money that is being misused,” according to the Times. “It also said that it could hold back the second installment of relief money that Arizona is scheduled to receive this year.”