FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said Americans across the country should be "outraged" after states pocketed COVID-19 relief funds to use for pet projects.
Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from President Biden’s signature American Rescue Plan have been spent by states on frivolous projects.
Braun is calling for the earmarked funds to be repaid and lambasted the Democrats over their handling of taxpayer dollars contained in the COVID-19 relief bill.
"Last year, I predicted that the American people would be ‘outraged’ when they found out what was in Democrats’ so-called ‘COVID relief’ bill: a bunch of payoffs, waste and a recipe for runaway inflation," Braun told Fox News Digital in an exclusive statement. "Nancy Pelosi doesn’t care that you’re getting gouged as long as she gets her luxury hotels and ski slopes paid for on your dime," Braun added. "I’m still outraged, and now that Americans see what was in that bill, they should be too."
President Biden’s signature legislation — the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan — allocated $350 billion to assist struggling localities and states get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, states used the hundreds of millions of dollars in COVID relief money for pet projects, including luxury hotels, spas, baseball stadium renovations and others.
Broward County, Florida, dropped $140 million in American tax dollars on a new, 29-story luxury hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with 800 rooms and an 11,000-foot spa.
Dutchess County, New York, paid $12 million in federal funds to renovate a New York Yankees-affiliated minor league team’s stadium.
In Massachusetts, $5 million in taxpayer money paid off debts of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate.
Other pet projects undertaken by states using taxpayer dollars include $400 million to create new prisons in Alabama; $2 million to Pottawattamie County, Iowa, to buy a privately-owned ski area; $6.6 million to replace two Colorado Springs golf courses' irrigation systems and a combined $80 million for tourism marketing campaigns for Puerto Rico; Tuscon, Arizona; and Washington, D.C.