- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Rep. Ted Budd is demanding the White House explain how many convicted felons, including the terrorist responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing, received coronavirus stimulus checks from the Biden administration.

Mr. Budd, a North Carolina Republican, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday urging the administration to make the information public.

“Hardworking taxpayers have the right to expect that their dollars are spent wisely and carefully,” said Mr. Budd, who is running for the U.S. Senate this year. “That’s why it is unconscionable that terrorists and murderers received taxpayer-funded checks from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.”

The North Carolina Republican said the White House should disclose not only how many incarcerated felons received coronavirus stimulus checks, but also the exact amount that it cost taxpayers and how the funds were spent.

A copy of Mr. Budd’s letter to Mrs. Yellen was obtained exclusively by The Washington Times.

The White House did not immediately return requests for comment on this story.

Earlier this month, the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts filed documents in federal court requesting the seizure of $1,400 in coronavirus relief that was sent to the Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The U.S. attorney argued it would be improper for Mr. Tsarnaev to keep the money since he’s yet to pay the more than $101 million in restitution owed to his victims.

“The United States submits that the requested relief is reasonable and appropriate in this instance, especially in light of the defendant prioritizing payments to his siblings over the victims of his crimes,” federal prosecutors wrote.

A district court judge allowed the assets to be seized citing the fact that Mr. Tsarnaev has only paid $2,000 out of the $101 million judgment imposed on him for his crimes.

Last year, Democrats pushed through President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package known as the American Rescue Plan. The spending included upwards of $500 billion to send $1,400 in direct payments to individuals making $80,000-per-year.

Shortly before the bill passed, Democrats blocked a GOP amendment that would have barred stimulus checks from going to prisoners. At the time, Democrats argued that the money direct payments would be passed onto the children and families of felons.

“Given the stark racial disparities in our criminal justice system, this would cause the most harm to Black and brown families and communities already harmed by mass incarceration,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Illinois Democrat. “Children should not be forced to go hungry because a parent is incarcerated.”

Mr. Budd said Mr. Tsarnaev’s case proves Democrats were not only wrong but that their negligence resulted in taxpayer money being used to subsidize the prison lifestyles of heinous criminals.

“Sadly, when Congress unleashed trillions in untargeted dollars into the economy, results like this were inevitable,” he said. “Every taxpayer dollar is sacred and should be treated that way.”

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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