COVID-19 Stimulus Tracker and Analysis

Rolling Analysis, Deep DiveCOVID-19 Stimulus Tracker and Analysis

Budget & Tax,  | Analysis
Mar 26, 2021  | 34 min read | Print Article

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has moved fast, growing into both a health and economic crisis in the U.S. Amid calls for stimulus packages, bailouts, and legislation, where is the money going? TCS has seen this movie before — just after 9/11, during the 2008 financial crisis, in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, and in the 2017 hurricane season after Maria, Harvey, Irma and more. We’re building a tracker and following the money. Follow along.

There are three ways to follow along – by issue area, a hyperlinked timeline, or a reverse chronological blog feed with most recent content first.


March 26, 2021

Weekly Wastebasket: Overtaxed Agency

March 25, 2021

Quick Take: USDA Announces $14 billion in Pandemic Assistance

Analysis: COVID-19 and Agricultural Income Subsidies

March 19, 2021

In The News — Politifact: No, COVID-19 relief law doesn’t give federal workers a $21,000 bonus

March 9, 2021

Quick Take: $2 Trillion For What?

March 5, 2021

Weekly Wastebasket: COVID Relief and Common Sense Principles, the Sequel

Quick Take: Budget Watchdog AF, Episode 2 – HR22, American Rescue Plan Act 2021, and more

March 3, 2021

Analysis: Vaccines and Contact Tracing

Analysis: Child Tax Credit – “Temporary” Changes with Permanent Costs

Analysis: Food for Peace International Aid and USDA’s CCC

March 2, 2021

Analysis: Agriculture and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

March 1, 2021

Analysis: Restaurant Revitalization Fund

February 26, 2021

Weekly Wastebasket: COVID Relief and Common Sense Principles

Quick Take: Three Schools Get a Total of $73.5 Million; But Just These Three 

February 25, 2021

Quick Take: Pollution Link to COVID-19 Public Health Outcomes

Analysis: Bridges And Trains And Museums, Oh My 

Quick Take: Since When Does Spending in 4 ½ Years Qualify as Emergency Spending?

Quick Take: Are You a Veteran? No Copayments for You!

February 24, 2021

Analysis: Inspector General and Transparency/Oversight Funding 

Analysis: Deficits Matter….In The Long Term

Analysis: Congress Must Apply Common Sense Principles to the American Recovery Act 

February 1, 2021

Quick Take: What’s in the Proposed Senate Republican $618 Billion Counteroffer?

January 15, 2021

Analysis: CCC Charter Act: A Case Study in Congressional Abdication (Updated)

January 14, 2021

In The News – Salon: Watchdog — Mitch blocked key aid but pushed tax break for owner of racehorse “Stimulus Check”

December 31, 2020

In The News – CSPAN: TCS President Steve Ellis on Coronavirus Aid and Federal Spending

December 28, 2020

Analysis: Better Tracing Money for Contracts and Contact Tracing

December 24, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Pandemic and Policy Annus Horribilis 

Analysis: Simplification of Small Business Loan Forgiveness Application

Quick Take: What Is and Isn’t in the COVID-19 Relief Package 

Analysis: Here’s Some News for News Organizations

Analysis: Grants for Shuttered Venue Operators

Analysis: No Loans for Lobbyists

Quick Take: Remove barriers for ag sector to thrive

December 22, 2020

In The News – CBS News: Paycheck Protection Program returns with $285 billion, and there’s still room for fraud

In The News – Politifact: Facebook posts wrongly say COVID-19 bill includes foreign aid, arts funding

Analysis: Senate Ag Republicans Get Their Groove Back

December 21, 2020

Statement on FY2021 Omnibus/COVID-19 Relief Package

Analysis: Special Interests 1, Common Sense 0

December 18, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: The Lame Duck TikTok

December 14, 2020

OpEd – The Hill: Liability shield will hurt the public and taxpayers

December 4, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Toxic for Taxpayers

December 3, 2020

Quick Take: The Trump Administration’s Mad Dash to Open up the Arctic to Drilling (Updated)

December 2, 2020

Quick Take: USDA projects government payments at historic levels

November 25, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Setting The Subsidy Table

November 19, 2020 

Weekly Wastebasket: Watchdogging COVID-19 $$$

November 18, 2020

Statement: Fast Tracking Lease Sales in the Arctic Refuge

November 17, 2020

Quick Take: The Trump Administration’s Mad Dash to Open up the Arctic to Drilling

November 4, 2020

OpEd – Washington Times: Why drilling in the Arctic is a fool’s errand

November 1, 2020

In The News – Minnesota Star Tribune: Farmers see record $40B in aid, but many are uneasy accepting help

October 30, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Post-Election To-Do List: Lead

October 19, 2020

In The News – Roll Call: Hit by pandemic, Amtrak is making cuts that may endure

October 15, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Questions for the Candidates

October 9, 2020 

Weekly Wastebasket: What’s Not In Your Wallet

October 1, 2020

In The News – Public News Service: Report – Taxpayers Lost $4B Due to Low Royalty, Lease Rates

September 26, 2020

In The News: Trump administration doling out billions to farmers before the election

September 25, 2020

Letter: Investigate the Pentagon’s Misuse of CARES Act Funds

September 24, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: We’re a Broken Record on Congressional Oversight of Federal Spending

In The News – Caspar Star Tribune: Taxpayer advocates call for oil and gas lease reform

September 22, 2020

Letter to the Hill: Fiscal Groups write, Don’t Threaten a Government Shutdown for More Farm Subsidies

September 18, 2020

In The News – Progressive Farmer: Groups Praise New Aid Package, But Some Also Seek More

September 10, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Enough Head Feints – Pass Responsible Pandemic Relief

In The News – FactCheck: Mnuchin Spins Pre-COVID Path to Debt Reduction

In The News – New York Times: Taxpayer, Conservation Groups Pressure U.S. to Halt Drilling Auctions

September 4, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: This Labor Day, Thank A Working Farmer

September 3, 2020

Analysis: USDA – Farm Subsidies at Highest Level in 20 Years

August 28, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: A Shield For Negligent Business

August 27, 2020

In The News – WLS-AM 890: Bailing out businesses will shift burden onto tax payers
In The News – Open The Government: Q & A with an accountability expert

August 25, 2020

In The News – Washington Examiner: ‘More outrageous than usual’: Pet projects hidden in plain sight in coronavirus bills

August 21, 2020

Op-Ed – Roll Call: Blanket COVID-19 liability shield will cost taxpayers

Weekly Wastebasket: How Resilient Does The Industrial Base Need To Be? 

August 18, 2020

Quick Take: USDA Opening the Treasury to Millionaire “Farmers”

August 17, 2020

In The News – Politico: Democrats fight to give ‘severely underfunded’ business rescue new life

August 14, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Optics Don’t Equal COVID-19 Assistance

August 10, 2020

In The News – Yahoo Finance/On The Move: Coronavirus relief will only work with ‘actual legislation’: Taxpayers for Common Sense President

August 7, 2020

Wastebasket: It’s Past Time To Get It Done

August 5, 2020

In The News – Bloomberg Government: Air Force Scores Jets on Wish List as Senate Spars Over Food Aid

August 3, 2020

In The News – Minnesota Star Tribune: Sen. Tina Smith attacks challenger Jason Lewis over 1998 stance on farm subsidies

July 30, 2020

Wastebasket: Heels of the HEALS Act

July 29, 2020

Analysis: Taxpayers Avoid Huge Losses from Federal Coal Royalty Relief

Analysis: To the Moon, Alice! 

Analysis: Inspectors General Not Getting A Lot of Love

Quick Take: No strings attached aid for agriculture

July 28, 2020

Analysis – HEALS Act: How Much for the Pentagon? 

Analysis – HEALS Act: Mysterious New “Resiliency Funds” for the Industrial Base

Analysis – HEALS Act: Remember, Defense Contractors are “Essential”

Analysis – HEALS Act: Ships and aircraft and missile defense, oh my!

July 24, 2020

In The News: Also getting PPP loans: Businesses where sales have boomed

July 21, 2020

In The News – Politico: Fraud concerns loom over move to forgive small business loans

July 20, 2020

Documents: The Third Report of the Congressional Oversight Commission

In The News – Wall Street Journal: Some Companies Got Both Government Contracts and PPP Loans

July 19, 2020

In The News – The Week: At least 68 Florida construction companies with government contracts received PPP loans

July 17, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: The Cross-Country TCS Road Trip

In The News – ESPN: Some, not all, coaches share colleges’ burden amid coronavirus pandemic

July 15, 2020

Quick Take: Update on the USDA’s COVID-19 Response

In The News – Politifact: Trump, lawmakers have consistently sidestepped the defense sequester

July 12, 2020

In The News – Pantagraph: More than 250 Bloomington-Normal businesses receive COVID aid

In The News – The Cleveland Plain Dealer: Republicans slam the Ohio Democratic Party for getting federal Paycheck Protection Program loan

July 10, 2020

In The News – The Chicago Tribune: PPP loans were meant to help small businesses save jobs amid the pandemic. So why does official data show thousands of recipients retained zero jobs?

July 9, 2020

Statement: TCS’ Statement on the Paycheck Protection Program

Weekly Wastebasket: Lawmakers Are Behind On Budget

July 8, 2020

In The News – The Wall Street Journal: The Media’s PPP Potshots

In The News – The Fiscal Times: Who Got Big Bucks Through Small Business Rescue Program?

In The News – Spectrum News: Watchdog Groups Call for More Transparency on Coronavirus Relief

In The News – Washington Times: Politicians and pole dancers: Employers flock to coronavirus loans

In The News – BBC: Coronavirus: Moguls and lobbyists get millions in government aid

In The News – Washington Post: After railing against federal spending, GOP lawmakers, conservative groups benefit from government aid program

July 7, 2020

In The News – Politifact: Pelosi compares cost of state and local aid from coronavirus relief bill to 2017 tax cuts

In The News – Washington Post: Treasury, SBA data show small-business loans went to private-equity backed chains, members of Congress

In The News – Washington Examiner: Agriculture support should be temporary and targeted, just like all other federal coronavirus aid

July 6, 2020

Letter: State Aid Principles Coalition Letter

July 2, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: A Pandemic Fourth

June 29, 2020

Analysis: Fact Sheet – CCC Charter Act, A Case In Congressional Abdication

In The News – MarketWatch: Pressure builds on Senate Republicans to move in direction of $3 trillion coronavirus relief measure favored by Democrats

June 25, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: The Camel and the Ag Pandemic Tent

Common Sense Conversations – June 2020

June 18, 2020

Documents: The Second Report of the Congressional Oversight Commission

June 16, 2020

Analysis: Planting Permanent Subsidies in Response to COVID-19

In The News – The Savannah Morning News: Hurricane season is upon us, and we must prepare now

June 13, 2020

In The News – Heather Cox Richardson/Moyers on Democracy: Can the Republicans Get Their Act Together?

June 12, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Hurricane Season Arrives Amid Pandemic

June 11, 2020

In The News – Washington Post: Trump Administration won’t say who got $511 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus loans

June 10, 2020

In The News – Roll Call: Outside groups press Risch to livestream Foreign Relations proceedings

June 9, 2020

Analysis: Primer on Inspectors General

June 5, 2020

Analysis: Delaying Oil and Gas Leasing is a Win for Taxpayers 

June 4, 2020

In The News – Washington Post: Pentagon’s coronavirus plan includes millions for missile tubes and body armor

May 28, 2020

Analysis: Agricultural Conservation and COVID-19 Assistance

May 26, 2020

In The News – Houston Chronicle: With national debt nearing record, Texas conservatives push back on stimulus

May 22, 2020

In The News – Wyoming Public Radio: Requests for Oil and Gas Relief are Growing in Wyoming

May 21, 2020

In The News – Politico: Trump Administration Cuts Royalty Payments for Oil Companies

Weekly Wastebasket: Memorializing the Death of Checks and Balances

Analysis: No Relief for Taxpayers – BLM Fast-Tracking Royalty Giveaways

May 20, 2020

In The News – E&E: BLM Flooded With Royalty Relief Requests

In The News – NBC Investigations: The Government Has Earmarked Billions to Help Farmers. There Will be Winners and Losers.

May 19, 2020

Quick Take: Common Sense Conversations – COVID-19, IGs, Oversight, and more

May 18, 2020

Documents: The First Report of the Congressional Oversight Commission – Questions About the CARES Act’s $500 Billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Funds

Analysis: USDA and the CARES Act

Analysis: HEROES Act Directs More Payments for Agriculture

May 15, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: The HEROES Act Tries to Spend Our Way Out of this Pandemic

Analysis: Federal Taxpayer Costs of COVID-19 Response

May 13, 2020

Analysis: Division E – Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers

Analysis: Division H – Veterans and Servicemembers Provisions

May 12, 2020

Analysis: The HEROES Act – At Least $1.5 Trillion in Emergency Spending

Analysis: The HEROES Act – Accountability and Government Operations

May 8, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: COVID-19 Response Dollars – Apple Of Their Eye

May 1, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Congress Matters – How did we get to the point where people need to be reminded of that?

April 30, 2020

Letter: Urging Responsible Fiscal Discipline

April 23, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: More COVID-19 Funding, Won’t be the Last

April 21, 2020

Letter: Call for Transparency, Accountability, Good Government

April 17, 2020

Analysis: Big Ag and the CARES Act

April 15, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Doublespeak on the Big Oil Deal

April 14, 2020

Analysis: JCT’s Estimate on Revenue Effects of CARES Act

April 9, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Protect the Inspectors General from Politics, Because #OversightMatters

In The News – Bloomberg Government: Rush to Pass Virus Aid Bolsters Clout of Capitol Hill Leadership

April 8, 2020

In The News – Carolina Journal: N.C. hospitals, medical practices could get several billion from CARES Act

April 6, 2020

In The News – Washington Post: Private equity angles for piece of stimulus windfall

Analysis: Dollar Figures from CARES For Various Agencies

Joint Letter: Common Sense Principles for COVID-19 Response

April 3, 2020

Weekly Wastebasket: Today’s Pandemic Response, Tomorrow’s Crony Capitalism?

In The News – USA Today: Why Boeing might not need a bailout despite coronavirus, 737 Max crises

April 1, 2020

In The News – Politifact: Are states in a bidding war over medical gear with the feds? 

March 31, 2020

In The News – The Hill: Democrats, Trump set to battle over implementing $2T relief bill

In The News – Bloomberg Law: Defense workers pressured to defy virus and keep making weapons

March 30, 2020

In The News – Washington Journal/CSPAN: Stephen Ellis on Coronavirus Aid Legislation

In The News – Fortune: Stimulus funnels billions to health care for spending unrelated to COVID-19

In The News – WJLA/ABC: Major cruise companies likely left out of bailout thanks to language in stimulus law

In The News – WVTF/Virginia Public Radio: No coal industry tax break in COVID-19 relief bill

March 28, 2020

Analysis: Deeming All Defense Contracts “Essential” Will Be Costly

March 27, 2020

In The News – Yahoo! Finance: Airlines plot course through turbulent coronavirus crisis with billions from US taxpayers

In The News – The New York Times: For farmers, stimulus bill means subsidies continue to flow

In The News – AP: Congress locks Trump oversight into $2.2 trillion package

Weekly Wastebasket: CARES Act Hits Finish Line

March 26, 2020

In The News – Fast Company: Here are the most infuriating details and corporate giveaways in the COVID-19 stimulus bill

In The News – KTOO: Trump would like to help the cruise industry. Not everyone who works in the industry thinks that’s a good idea.

Analysis: Someone Remembered the Sunscreen … in the COVID-19 Stimulus Package

Analysis: The COVID-19 Stimulus Package – Long On Money, Short On Details

Analysis: 2020 Bailout Inspectors General Funding

In The News – WJLA/ABC: The $2 trillion stimulus package, broken down

In The News – Real Clear Politics: As job losses soar, will rescue package save the economy?

In The News – WJLA/ABC: Tracking trillions and sunscreen in coronavirus relief bill

Analysis: 2020 Bailout DHS Dollar Amounts

Analysis: 2020 Bailout Defense Program Funding

March 25, 2020

Quick Take: Agriculture in the time of COVID-19

In The News – USA Today: The $2 trillion stimulus is the biggest in history. How does it compare to 9/11, financial crisis bills?

In The News – The Washington Post: Senate aid package quietly carves out billions intended for Boeing, officials say

In The News – The Washington Examiner: Coronavirus relief deal will become most expensive ever

March 24, 2020

OpEd – Morning Consult: Commonsense Principles for Coronavirus Disaster Response and Recovery

In The News – Reuters: U.S. holding slew of new drilling lease sales despite oil market slump

March 20, 2020

Wastebasket: Accountability and Oversight in the Time of COVID-19

Tracker: COVID-19 Stimulus Requests: Tracker by Industry

In The News – WJLA/ABC: Taxpayer Watchdog: Americans should be asking questions about emergency spending

In The News – Roll Call: Defense Industry to Carry on in Face of Coronavirus

March 19, 2020

Analysis: A New Tracker and the Aerospace Industries’ Selfish Abuse of the COVID-19 Crisis

Statement: Conservative and Taxpayer Groups Call for Emergency Suspension of Oil & Gas Leasing on Public Lands

March 18, 2020

Letter: Principles for Coronavirus Disaster Response and Recovery

March 17, 2020

Analysis: Now is the Time to Press Pause On Oil and Gas Leasing

Quick Take: Possible COVID-19 Response and Stimulus Package

March 13, 2020

Wastebasket: Washington – Rise To The Occasion

March 12, 2020

In The News – Marketplace: The Trump administration considers ways to help the travel industry

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