The United States spent most of its aid and stimulus check money


Nearly two years and six relief bills in the pandemic, the United States has spent the majority of its available Covid rescue funds. But billions of dollars in a handful of categories have not been spent. Adam Jeffery | CNBC

According to budget experts, it often takes a long time for the full amount of funds approved by lawmakers to reach the American people. This is because government agencies such as the Small Business Administration and the Department of Labor go through a process of legal commitment to a portion of the allocated funding, which is known as binding. They then start to actually spend it.

Starting under then-President Donald Trump and continuing through President Joe Biden’s administration, Congress approved some $ 4.5 trillion in total aid spending, according to Treasury Department data. Federal agencies have formally committed to using approximately $ 4 trillion and to date have made $ 3.5 trillion in actual payments.

The roughly $ 500 billion in available relief resources that have not been committed may not be spent by agencies. There are deadlines for making these commitments, and they could stretch for years. Details also vary by program. Funds that are ultimately not committed are returned for other government uses.

What agencies can commit to spending may differ from the initial estimates presented in invoices, or they may simply plan to use the funds over a long-term period, said Kristen Kociolek, director of the financial management team. and insurance policy from the United States Government Accountability Office. . A Congressional Budget Office estimate of nearly $ 2 trillion in US bailout spending from March 2021, for example, shows that 40% of total spending is expected to occur between 2022 and 2030.

Education, healthcare and disaster relief are among the areas where the government has spent only a portion of committed funds, according to a CNBC analysis of Treasury data compiled by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, or PRAC. The agency was created under the CARES law of March 2020 to support the monitoring of pandemic relief spending.

Covid relief funding, spent and remaining

remain in education, health and disaster relief.

About $ 3.5 out of $ 4 trillion in spending or incurred is at the doorstep. Gaps

Funds committed but not spent

The labels indicate the amount spent // remaining amount

Stimulation controls

$ 844 billion spent // $ 0 remaining



K-12, professional

$ 666 billion // $ 56 billion

All other categories

$ 60 billion // $ 203 billion

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