Contact: Usamah Andrabi, 832-878-4839
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02), Gwen Moore (WI-04), and Ron Kind (WI-03) sent a letter today to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen opposing the Treasury’s reduced allocations for the state of Wisconsin from the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. When the American Rescue Plan was signed into law, the Congressional Research Service estimated Wisconsin would receive $3.2 billion—$700 million more than the Treasury’s final issuance of $2.5 billion. Additionally, the lawmakers requested the Treasury provide Wisconsin with its funds in one single payment—rather than a two-part payment separated by a full year.
“We passed the American Rescue Plan to provide $3.2 billion in relief for Wisconsinites, and Wisconsin deserves the full sum of those funds now,” said the Representatives. “We look forward to working with the Treasury Department to provide Wisconsin with the full amount of funds it was initially promised.”
See the full letter below and here.
May 12, 2021
The Honorable Janet Yellen
Secretary of the Treasury
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
Dear Secretary Yellen:
Thank you for publishing the Interim Final Rule for Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. The billions of dollars that Wisconsin will receive from these funds will be invaluable to ensuring our state successfully recovers from the economic and public health harms caused by the coronavirus pandemic. That is why we write to express our deep concern about the approximately $700 million discrepancy between the Congressional Research Service’s (CRS) estimate of what Wisconsin should receive from the American Rescue Plan and what Treasury has published as Wisconsin’s final allocation. Additionally, we are troubled by your decision to split Wisconsin’s allocation in half and release the second tranche of funding one calendar year from now.
Section 9901 of Public Law 117-2, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, states that the amount of funding payable to each state is:
“…an amount which bears the same proportion to such remainder as the average estimated number of seasonally-adjusted unemployed individuals (as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] Local Area Unemployment Statistics program) in the State or District of Columbia over the 3-month period ending with December 2020 bears to the average estimated number of seasonally-adjusted unemployed individuals in all of the 50 States and the District of Columbia over the same period.”
When the American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 11, 2021, CRS estimated Wisconsin’s allocation to be $3.2 billion based upon BLS unemployment data covering “the 3-month period ending with December 2020.” The Treasury Department, however, has chosen to utilize subsequent BLS data in the issuance of its interim final rule that lowers Wisconsin’s allocation to $2.5 billion. We do not agree with this decision by the Department, and request that it be resolved immediately.
Similarly, section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act provides you the authority to separate payments to states into two tranches, but it does not require it: “The Secretary shall have the authority to withhold payment of up to 50 percent of the amount allocated to each State […] for a period of up to 12 months…”. We do not support the implementation of a two-tranche payment structure, and request that full payment be made immediately – particularly in light of the current $700 million reduction in Wisconsin’s allocation.
We look forward to working with you to expeditiously resolve these matters and stand ready to address any questions you may have.
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
Member of Congress