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Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) on Wednesday sued the Biden administration, saying a provision in the American Rescue Plan — the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package — imposes "unconstitutional" limits on how states can access some of the aid.
The measure includes a $350 billion fund to assist state and local governments with paying for costs related to the coronavirus pandemic; Ohio is set to receive about $11.2 billion of those funds. The bill prevents states from using the money to offset tax cuts, which Yost argues is too broad of a requirement.
In a court filing, Ohio's lawyers said the mandate "gives the states a choice: they can have either the badly needed federal funds or their sovereign authority to set state tax policy. But they cannot have both. In our current economic crisis, that is no choice at all." Ohio is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent this part of the bill from being enforced.
On Tuesday, 21 Republican attorneys general sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, asking for clarification of how the measure will be applied. A Biden administration official told The Washington Post that Congress has the authority to "establish reasonable conditions on how states should use federal funding," and the relief package does not prohibit all tax cuts.