NWI Times: “the Republican-led Indiana General Assembly and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb seemingly have no qualms about accepting the federal support”
Remember When: The Indiana Republican Party — from Governor Eric Holcomb to U.S. Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young and the Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation — all opposed the American Rescue Plan
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today continued to celebrate the success of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the $5.8 billion of relief it will bring to the Hoosier State. In fact, ARP is already helping families across Indiana with $1,400 checks for individuals, $2 billion in relief for schools, and a $1,600 per child tax credit for families. The American Rescue Plan will also help lift more than 80,000 of our kids out of poverty. This kind of success is exactly why the Indiana Republican Party — after universal opposition — is quietly accepting its dollars.
As it stands, about 75-percent of Americans – including 46-percent of Republicans – approve of the American Rescue Plan.
Hoosiers will remember who consistently delivered for them during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they’ll remember it was Congressmen André Carson and Frank Mrvan Jr. who stepped up for Indiana. As for the INGOP, voters will remember how they put their rhetoric ahead of helping struggling Hoosiers. And as the story below shows, Republicans continue to disrespect Indiana’s teachers.
Here are some key points from this latest write up in the NWI Times:
NWI Times // Dan Carden
“The American Rescue Plan is poised to deliver approximately $3 billion in COVID-19 recovery assistance to the state of Indiana, plus another $2.6 billion to Indiana cities and counties.
While not a single Republican in Congress — including Indiana U.S. Sens. Todd Young and Mike Braun, and the seven GOP U.S. representatives serving Indiana — voted in favor of the legislation, the Republican-led Indiana General Assembly and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb seemingly have no qualms about accepting the federal support.” […]
“Cris Johnston, director of Holcomb’s Office of Management and Budget and a Crown Point native, said because the American Rescue Plan takes a broader perspective on COVID-19 relief than the 2020 CARES Act measures there will be opportunities to spend money on other state needs if the money is not specifically directed to state agencies for existing programs, such as rent and utility payment assistance.” […]
“…the most likely outcome is Indiana lawmakers will substitute federal funds for the state money the Indiana House already has voted to spend on rural broadband expansion ($250 million), regional economic development programs ($150 million), small business assistance grants ($30 million), student “learning loss” remediation ($150 million), and similar COVID-19 recovery measures.
Holcomb said using federal money for those programs, and possibly spending even more than the state could on its own, would create a new pool of state funds that could be used to reduce Indiana’s debt burden in the short-term, paving the way for sustainable, state-funded teacher pay raises or tax cuts for Hoosiers a few years down the road.” […]
“Both Johnston and House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, insisted that using these one-time funds in a way that creates an ongoing obligation, such as immediate teacher pay hikes, is the wrong policy for Indiana.
‘We know these are one-time dollars, and it’s extraordinarily important that you use one-time dollars to give long-term investments a greater return on that investment and don’t create financial cliffs,’ Huston said.
‘One of the things we’re trying to do is think about both the short-term and long-term implications of this. Obviously, if you buy down debt that reduces the state’s long-term appropriation amounts and gives us flexibility on tax cuts and economic investments in the future.’”