Rep. Boebert released the following statement following the introduction of the Stop Appropriating for Obsequy Costs Act (Stop AOC Act) to stop FEMA from wastefully dolling out taxpayer money for COVID funerals until 2023:
“AOC’s new government welfare program is cradle to grave—literally. AOC and Chuck Schumer have shelled out $1.2 billion in COVID funeral earmarks. Never mind that the average cost of a funeral is $3,000-$7,000, AOC’s FEMA program will give you $9,000. There has been little to no auditing of this colossal waste of money, and the program is ripe for abuse and fraud—even allowing illegal immigrant families to receive taxpayer money. The Biden regime’s priority is placating AOC instead of helping Americans; for instance, while the VA backlog takes over 125 days, it only takes a month to get funding from AOC’s pet project. This is just another blue state bailout, and coastal blue states like Maryland, New York, D.C., and California get almost 70% more money per COVID death on average than rural states like Colorado, Montana, Idaho, and New Mexico. The American people shouldn’t be forced to shell out another billion dollars of taxpayer money over the next 14 months for AOC’s COVID funerals and this new socialist program should end today.”
AOC and Senator Schumer created a new program for American taxpayers to foot the bill for funeral expenses that may or may not have been the result of a COVID-19 death. FEMA has shelled out more than $1.2 billion to 196,000 people out of the initial $2 billion earmarked for the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program. Even more funds were allocated to FEMA through the passage of the American Rescue Plan that allow the agency to continue operating this program until 2023, three years after the beginning of the pandemic.
These reimbursements cover up to $9,000 per funeral and allow up to $35,500 per application for multiple funerals when the average cost for a funeral is between $3,000-$7,000. This program is an unnecessary, colossal waste of taxpayer money implemented at the behest of far-left extremists.
Death certificates indicating the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely a result of COVID-19” or “COVID-19 like symptoms” and similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
Illegal immigrant families are eligible to receive these FEMA “awards” even if they are on parole, even if they aren’t in the country legally, even if they are convicted of non-serious criminal offenses, or if even they came to the U.S. illegally via a human trafficking cartel.
The left never lets a disaster go to waste as we continue to see them politicize COVID-19 through absurd mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and the continuation of frivolous programs like this one. American taxpayers should not be required to fund ridiculous programs like these at the behest of AOC and her radical, socialist agenda.
Reps. Mary Miller (IL-15), Jody Hice (GA-10), Ralph Norman (NC-05), Brian Mast (FL-18), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), and Andrew Clyde (GA-09) co-sponsored Rep. Boebert’s Stop AOC Act.