FACT CHECK: Senator Hassan Fought for Strong Oversight of COVID-19 Relief to Ensure Taxpayer Dollars Were Put to Good Use in NH

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Senator Hassan Didn’t Vote for Any of the Projects Cited in One Nation’s False Ad

A new TV ad launched by Mitch McConnell’s dark money group – which gets its funding from corporate special interests like Big Oil and Big Pharma – is falsely attacking Senator Maggie Hassan for her record of ensuring strong oversight of COVID-19 relief spending and fiscal responsibility.

During negotiations for COVID-19 relief packages, Senator Hassan fought for robust oversight protections to ensure that taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars were put to good use. For example she worked with her colleagues to quickly authorize a pandemic spending watchdog and investigator to track relief spending, and made sure that COVID relief dollars were not going to deceased individuals.

“This latest TV ad from McConnell’s dark money group is simply false. The truth is that Senator Hassan led efforts during COVID-19 negotiations to ensure that there were strong guardrails in place to prevent wasteful spending,” said Maggie for NH spokesperson Kevin Donohoe. “Granite Staters know that Senator Hassan is a good steward for their tax dollars. Our campaign will continue to fight back against McConnell’s desperate attempts to defeat Senator Hassan and mislead voters about her record of fiscal responsibility.” 

The One Nation advertisement also claims that Senator Hassan voted to authorize funding for projects in New Jersey, Florida, and Colorado. In reality, Senator Hassan didn’t vote for – or have any say in – the funding for these projects.

THE FACTS: Senator Hassan Fought For Strict Oversight of COVID-19 Relief Spending 

  • Senator Hassan Successfully Secured Robust Oversight Protections in the American Rescue Plan [Nashua Telegraph, 2/10/21]

  • Senator Hassan Cosponsored Legislation To Quickly Authorize A Pandemic Spending Watchdog And Investigators to Track Relief Spending. [Fed Manager, 5/19/20]

  • Senator Hassan Cosponsored The Stopping Improper Payments To Deceased People Act, Which Became Law As Part Of Covid Relief Legislation To Help Ensure Stimulus Checks Did Not Go To Those Who Had Died. [WGNO, 12/24/20]

THE FACTS: Senator Hassan Did Not Vote for Any of the Projects Cited in One Nation’s False Ad 

  • The Spending Items in One Nation’s Ad Were Not Included in the America Rescue Plan, But Rather Were Projects Pursued By State And Local Governments: “Separate TV ads from the One Nation group claim that Warnock and Masto “voted to allow hundreds of millions of dollars of COVID relief funds to be squandered on a luxury resort in Florida, a New Jersey soccer stadium” and “a ski area in Iowa.” […] The bill did not itemize the three expenditures highlighted in the ad; rather, it included $350 billion that could be spent by state and local governments, which is how each of these three projects were funded. The three projects could be called “leisure,” but local officials said they were intended to revive tourism once the pandemic was over. […] One Nation PAC claimed that Warnock and Cortez Masto “voted to allow hundreds of millions of dollars of COVID relief funds to be squandered” on leisure projects.  Both senators voted for the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that gave $350 billion to state and local governments, but did not earmark the $350 billion for particular projects. One state and two counties approved spending the funds for hotel, soccer and ski projects as part of efforts to revive tourism.” [PolitiFact, 7/28/22]

  • The Decision To Spend ARP Funds On Stadium Upgrades In New Jersey Was Made By New Jersey’s Governor. [NJ Spotlight News, 6/17/22]

  • The Decision To Spend ARP Funds On A Florida Hotel Was Made By The Broward County Commission. [Local 10, 3/24/22]

  • The Colorado Springs City Council Approved Using $6.6 Million In American Rescue Plan Funds To Upgrade Irrigation Systems At Two City-Owned Golf Courses. [KRDO, 5/16/22]

THE FACTS: Inflation is a Global Problem and Leading Economists Say The American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure are Not Driving Inflation Pressures in the U.S. 

The ad blames government spending for fueling inflation, even though leading economists have said that the emergency government spending is not driving inflation, which is a global problem facing countries across the world.

  • San Francisco Fed Analysis: The American Rescue Plan Did Not Significantly Increase Inflation Through 2022. According to a San Francisco Fed paper, “In this Economic Letter, we assess the risk of sustained inflationary overheating using the ratio of job vacancies to unemployment. This measure of slack accounts for both the demand for and supply of labor and thus has been shown to predict future inflation more accurately than the unemployment rate alone. Our estimates show that the ARP could raise the vacancy-to-unemployment ratio close to its historical peak in 1968. However, this large increase translates into only a temporary increase in core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation of about 0.3 percentage point per year through 2022. This minor impact is attributable to the small effect of slack on inflation and the strong historical stability of longer-run inflation expectations.” [Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Regis Barnichon et al., 10/18/21]

  • Moody’s: Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Will Not Add to Inflation. According to economists and analysts in leading rating agencies, President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and social spending legislation will not add to inflationary pressures in the U.S. economy […] William Foster, vice president and senior credit officer (Sovereign Risk) at Moody’s Investors Service said that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill “should not have any real material impact on inflation.” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics said that the legislation does “not add to inflation pressures, as the policies help to lift long-term economic growth via stronger productivity and labor force growth, and thus take the edge off of inflation.” [Reuters, 11/17/21]

THE FACTS: Senator Hassan is Leading Efforts to Crack Down on Wasteful Government Spending

Senator Hassan, who was recently recognized as a “Fiscal Hero” in the U.S. Senate, is focused on cracking down on wasteful government spending and protecting taxpayer dollars. Senator Hassan is one of only two Democrats who refused to request “earmarks” in this year’s annual budget. And throughout her time in Congress, Senator Hassan has helped save taxpayers more than $200 billion, including by leading bipartisan efforts to close a Medicaid loophole that cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

  • Senator Hassan Supports Empowering Medicare To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices, Which Could Reduce the Federal Deficit By $297 Billion Over A Decade. [Kaiser Family Foundation, 11/23/21]

  • The Good Accounting Obligation in Government Act, Cosponsored By Senator Hassan, Required Agencies To Work To Implement Cost Savings Measures And Became Law. [S.2276, 115th Congress, cosponsored 7/18/18]

  • The Congressional Budget Office Estimated That Hassan’s Ban On Surprise Medical Billing Would Save Taxpayers $16,823,000,000 Over Ten Years. [Congressional Budget Office, 1/14/21]

  • The Congressional Budget Office Estimated That The Hassan-Introduced Fair AMP Act Will Save The Federal Government $3.1 Billion Over The Next Decade. [Advisory Board, 10/28/19]


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