During the House Oversight Committee hearing on COVID relief fraud and abuse, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked why three blue states were targeted for letters, but not red states.
This hearing is called federal pandemic spending: A prescription for waste, fraud, and abuse. The paycheck protection program, all of it. In wind up to this hearing on January 13, I see that the chair sent several letters to three states. Pennsylvania, California, and my home state of New York. With serious allegations of widespread fraud and abuse. But I’m curious a little bit about how we got to these three states. Mr. Dodaro, if you were auditing or investigating what went wrong in states in the distribution of pandemic-related unemployment insurance, how would you go about choosing which states to examine?”
The witness answered that auditors use a wide variety of criteria to examine states all of the country and he couldn’t speculate on the committee’s motives.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez later added:
What we are seeing are investigations into — and I believe that the methodology for these three states is highly questionable. I ask for this committee, if we’re going to perform oversight, then let’s perform oversight. Congressional Democrats are ready to perform that oversight and help our constituents get the benefits they need to pay their bills.
I think there’s no shortage of members of this committee who are willing to stand up to their own party when it’s necessary. But I cannot for the life of me understand why the majority would send these three letters just to these three states that leaves us with another other conclusion there seems to be some rank partisanship in this investigation. Committee Republicans, I ask if we’re going to start off, let’s do it right.
Ocasio-Cortez also provided numerous examples of fraud in red states, but none of those states got letters from the chair of the Oversight Committee.
The hearing was a partisan exercise. Republicans are trying to prove that COVID relief money helped people, state, and local governments was fraudulently used or wasted in blue states.
Democrats will be punching holes in these sham GOP investigations, much in the same way that Ocasio-Cortez did by calling out the partisanship and the bias that are the real motivations behind these hearings.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association