Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) issued the following statement in response to Governor Tom Wolf's comments that he would withhold CARES Act funding from Pennsylvania counties that do not obey his lockdown policy:
"It is wrong for Governor Wolf to withhold federal taxpayer funds from the CARES Act in an attempt to coerce compliance with his increasingly misguided lockdown policy. The CARES Act does not authorize this behavior. This development underscores the problem when one level of government sends money to a different level of government to be spent as the latter entity chooses. Money can be spent or withheld inappropriately and it is very difficult for taxpayers to know whom to hold accountable.
"The intent of the draconian shutdown of our economy was to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that we would not overwhelm our hospitals. It has been clear since, at least, mid-April that the capacity of Pennsylvania's hospitals have not been, and will not be, threatened. It is, therefore, no longer acceptable to deprive people of their livelihoods. Rather than punishing taxpayers by withholding federal aid that they helped to fund, our state government should be facilitating the safe re-opening of our economy."