Republicans Who Assailed Biden’s Stimulus Bill Are Embracing the Money

“It’s like the python that ate the rat,” Brad Whitehead, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, said of the struggle to shepherd so much federal money into state projects. “You need all those calories, but it’s hard to digest it all at once.”

The Treasury Department gave states broad discretion over how the stimulus money can be deployed, but imposed limits on using funds to shore up public pension programs and restricted states from using relief funds to subsidize tax cuts. The tax cut prohibition angered several Republican governors, who argued it infringed on state sovereignty, and has led to a thicket of lawsuits.

Among those challenging the restriction is Ohio, which was awarded nearly $5.4 billion of state aid through the American Rescue Plan. Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, opposed the entire package and, after it passed, his state took a leading role in litigation contending it was unlawful to put conditions on the relief money that prohibited states from using it to finance tax cuts.

The lawsuit is still making its way through the courts, but by June, Mr. DeWine signed legislation to use more than $2 billion of the federal funds to replenish the state’s jobless benefits fund, to improve water and sewer quality and to improve pediatric behavioral health facilities.

Texas announced in October a raft of plans to start spending some of its nearly $16 billion in federal aid, unveiling major investments in broadband, rural hospitals and food banks. Yet the state, which received the second largest allotment of funds in the country, also said it was hoping to use some of the funds to slash property taxes and that, despite the prohibition against doing so, it was setting aside $3 billion for “future tax relief.”

The most contentious use of federal funds this year has been in Arizona, where Republican Gov. Doug Ducey used relief money to roll out two education programs intended to undercut mask mandates that were imposed by some school districts. A $163 million program provides up to $1,800 in additional funding per pupil in public and charter schools that are “following all state laws” and open for in-person instruction. Schools that required masks would not be eligible.

White House Says It Does Not Keep Visitor Logs at Biden’s Delaware Home

WASHINGTON — White House officials said on Monday that there are no visitor logs that keep track of who comes and goes from President Biden’s personal residence in Wilmington, Del., where six classified documents were discovered in recent days. A top House Republican demanded on Sunday that the White House turn over visitor logs for […]

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A Florida School Received a Threat. Did a Red Flag Law Prevent a Shooting?

The requests were granted. But the results of the search were not what the detective expected. Memories of Parkland Nationally, more than 20,000 petitions for extreme risk protection orders were filed from 1999 to 2021, according to data collected by Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group. A vast majority of those petitions — more […]

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A Colossal Off-Year Election in Wisconsin

Lauren Justice for The New York Times Conservatives have controlled the court since 2008. Though the court upheld Wisconsin’s 2020 election results, last year it ruled drop boxes illegal, allowed a purge of the voter rolls to take place and installed redistricting maps drawn by Republican legislators despite the objections of Gov. Tony Evers, a […]

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