Democratic lawmakers received a confirmation letter from the Treasury Department Inspector General that the department would conduct an audit regarding n Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R) spending on migrant relocation.
The letter is a response to a request from lawmakers asking the Treasury Department to ascertain whether DeSantis improperly used funds from the American Rescue Plan to fund the transportation of 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
According to documents detailing the plan to relocate migrants, Florida lawmakers authorized $12 million of interest earned from the federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) to fund the migrant program.
In a letter dated October 7, but only made public on Wednesday (October 12), the Office of the Inspector General wrote, “As part of its oversight responsibilities for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, The Treasury Office of the Inspector General has audit work planned on recipients’ compliance with eligible use guidance.”
“In addition, as part of our oversight work of the Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the CARES Act, we have already sought information from Florida about appropriate use of that fund,” the letter continues.
The Office of the Inspector General noted that a “review” will be conducted to ascertain “the allowability of use of [SLFRF] funds related to immigration generally, and will specifically confirm whether interest earned on SLFRF funds was utilized by Florida related to immigration activities, and if so, what conditions and limitations apply to such use.”
After the letter was made public, Democrat Senator Ed Markey (Mass.) took credit for the Treasury Department’s audit.
Taking to Twitter, Markey boasted that “@USTreasury responded to my letter, confirming that it will investigate [Gov. DeSantis’] use of Covid relief funds to cruelly transport immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard under false pretenses and without any consideration for their personal dignity or basic needs.”