March 16,2021

Crapo Presses Treasury for Details on Use of State, Local Funds

Language raises serious implementation questions for states, localities and Tribes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen requesting details and clarity on how the Department will implement the state and local “relief” provision of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  

From the letter:


“In implementing the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), established in the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Treasury Department was quick to respond to questions from both sides of the aisle in the interest of clarity and provision of certainty for state and local governments.  Guidance from Treasury came quickly, and oversight has been meaningful throughout implementation of the CARES Act CRF program and distribution of CRF resources.  Along with other transparency features, the CARES Act gave oversight and recoupment authority to Treasury’s Office of Inspector General.  The ARPA has no such meaningful built-in oversight authority or required transparency.   

“In the interest of obtaining clarity regarding implementation of the ARPA’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, please respond to the questions contained in what follows.  Because the Treasury Department will be disbursing funds beginning as early as March 27, please respond substantively and in detail to the questions by close of business on March 22.” 

A copy of the letter can be found here.

A copy of the questions posed to Treasury can be found here.

Ranking Member Crapo has also urged the Treasury Department to follow a strong oversight framework similar to that of the CARES Act, as a similar enhanced oversight structure was not explicitly included in the American Rescue Plan.  

Finance Committee members recently joined Crapo in introducing the “State Fiscal Flexibility Act” (S. 743), a bill to eliminate a vaguely-drafted provision in the American Rescue Plan that prevents states from using relief funds to cut taxes.