President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan paid out COVID-19 stimulus checks totaling at least $1.3 billion to more than 1.1 million prison inmates, including about 163,000 people serving life sentences without a possibility of parole, according to internal data provided by the IRS to Rep. Don Bacon.
"The American Rescue Plan was reckless in the amount of massive spending with no off-sets," the Nebraska Republican told The Washington Free Beacon, which obtained a copy of a letter he got from the IRS. "Giving stimulus checks to death row inmates is a glaring example. This bill triggered the worst inflation in 41 years, costing the average family $500 a month. The poor suffer the most."
In the letter detailing the awards, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said that his agency does not possess data on how many of those individuals with life sentences who got stimulus money may also be facing the death penalty.
Last year, Bacon and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., warned that the American Rescue Plan, or President Joe Biden's nearly $2 trillion stimulus package, did not include appropriate limits.
One of the $1,400 stimulus checks went to Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, leading Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler to apologize for awarding Cotton with "two Pinocchios" over his comments on the checks.
Through the American Rescue plan, cash payments were available for people earning $75,000 or less or $150,000 for married couples.
The plan, however, did not stop cash payments for prisoners, after Senate Democrats voted by 50-49 against an amendment proposed by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., to block the checks from going to inmates.
Rettig said people in prisons may still apply for the stimulus checks.
Meanwhile, experts say at least $80 billion went out to fake businesses, and economists agree that the American Rescue Plan sparked the nation's 40-year-high inflation rates.
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