The report comes less than two weeks after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the Budget Committee had reached an agreement to allot $3.5 trillion for a spending package that would complete President Biden’s infrastructure plan.
"Despite over $1 trillion in unspent federal funds sitting in accounts, Democrats are focused instead on how they can spend trillions more by reaching back into taxpayers’ pockets or adding more to the nation’s debt," House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith, R-Mo., said in a Tuesday statement.
The $1 trillion figure includes $156 billion approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and $210 billion that the federal government allocated for state and local governments. A number of state and local governments have been planning ways to make use of the federal funds for needs unrelated to COVID-19, such as local infrastructure.
"As of May 31, 2021, of the $4.7 trillion appropriated by … six laws for COVID-19 relief—including about $1.6 trillion appropriated by ARPA, which was enacted in March 2021—the federal government had obligated a total of $3.5 trillion and had expended $3.0 trillion, as reported by federal agencies," the GAO report reads.
Some Republicans previously expressed concerns with President Biden's nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan, pointing out that about $1 trillion in federal funds had gone unspent at the time he signed the plan into law in March.
The government has run a cumulative deficit of $2.2 trillion so far in 2021, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center's Deficit Tracker.
House Budget Committee Republicans are continuing to sound the alarm on excessive federal spending and its impact on inflation.
"…The historic level of inflation our country is facing, fueled by the President’s misguided spending policies, amounts to a pay cut and a tax hike on every worker and family in America," Smith said. "This country cannot afford the continued reckless tax and spending spree Washington Democrats are proposing."