WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury inspector general and Iowa’s state auditor determined that Iowa’s Republican-controlled government misallocated at least $21 million in CARES Act funds. Iowa is dealing with one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country, but instead of directing federal funds to areas that are in desperate need, Governor Kim Reynolds allocated money toward new accounting software and to pay her staff. The GOP’s pandemic response has been disastrous for the state and now the government has co-opted millions in relief funding meant for struggling Iowans.
This revelation follows several of Iowa’s Republican lawmakers signing onto an ALEC letter arguing against federal coronavirus aid that would fund the salaries of police officers, frontline workers, and teachers. Those same lawmakers have yet to speak out against Governor Reynolds’ misuse of relief funding.
As COVID-19 continues to devastate Iowa, GOP legislators have made it clear that Iowans are at the bottom of their priority list.
“This is a flagrant, callous misuse of tax dollars and the GOP needs to answer for it,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “Iowans are struggling right now. Families are finding it harder to make ends meet and they’re worried about their children’s safety, and instead of using federal dollars to help Iowans, Republicans spent that money on software and salaries for the governor’s office. We need answers about how this happened and what Republicans are going to do to fix it.”