DemCastUSA Joins 40 Groups Calling on House Panel to investigate Pentagon’s Use of Coronavirus Funds

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DemCastUSA is proud to announce that we are among 40 signers from across the political spectrum who are calling for a congressional investigation into how the Pentagon used $1 billion in coronavirus relief funds.

In a letter to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, the groups also urged lawmakers to consider passing a new bill to suspend the Department of Defense’s (DOD) authority to use the funding.

“We believe that the select subcommittee should investigate when, how, and why the Pentagon decided that it could use these specific CARES Act funds in contravention of Congressional intent,” the letter said. “Any findings should be shared with the public to the maximum extent practicable. We would also ask that the select subcommittee consider recommending a rescission of DoD’s budget authority for this $1 billion fund in order to ensure Congress’s constitutional spending authority is not being violated.”

The DOD awarded contracts for jet engine parts, body armor and dress uniforms, among other military equipment, which critics argue is in contravention of the CARES Act stipulation that the funds be used to “prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus.”

In their letter Thursday, the organization highlighted ongoing national shortages of protective equipment such as N95 masks, gowns and gloves, arguing the Pentagon “spends more on military bands annually than it has spent on securing N95 masks.”

“It’s unconscionable that the department would prioritize defense contractor wishlists over the health and safety of the American people,” Mandy Smithberger, director of the Center for Defense Information at the Project On Government Oversight, said in a statement. “Congress was clear that it wanted the department to use its powers to address PPE shortages that continue to this day, and the department shirked its duties.”

Here is the final letter that these organizations signed:

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DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks, but are sustained solely on donations from grassroots supporters. Because our revenue isn’t click-driven, we don’t take in any direct revenue from the creative contributions of grassroots activists who post on the site. This sets us apart from other media sites. And we’re proud of that.

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