March 25, 2022 Updated 9:36 A.M. ET
WASHINGTON (FCV) – The Associated Press reported that Broward County, Florida, which voted 64.5% Democrat in 2020, used $140 million from the federal government meant as “relief” for the COVID-19 pandemic on a high-end hotel.
The project is titled the “Convention Center Expansion Project,” which can be found on Broward County’s website broward.org.
The money came from the $350 billion American Rescue Plan from the federal government. President Joe Biden is requesting more pandemic relief.
Other states are doing similar projects, with Dutchess County in New York using $12 million on a minor league baseball stadium.
Republicans have criticized the federal government for being too generous with federal aid during the pandemic, and are even more skeptical of additional aid coming out of the Treasury while the U.S. national debt climbs trillions higher.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department said that the program is a success that allowed governments to “recover from financial distress.”
“Ultimately local governments are accountable to their communities on their decisions on how best to use their funds,” she said.
Broward County’s 29-story, 800-room hotel was defended by officials. It will be operated by a private management group.
Broward initially routed the money into the project directly, but then used a loophole: county commissioners moved the money into the county’s “general fund” and then used to cover lost tax revenue. This was a legally acceptable use.
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