CBS Austin: The Texas Gold Rush In Covid-Aid 181_Texas_Gold_Rush_in_Covid_Aid

December 2, 2022 05:01 PM


By Adam Andrzejewski

Exclusive to CBS KEYE-Austin

This week, President Joe Biden continued to tout the spending within the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). It passed in March 2021 with only Democrats voting for it. Every Republican in Congress voted against it.

At the time of the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it best: “Republicans in Congress will vote no, but the Republican governors will take the dough.”

Buried within the 591-page bill was a $350 billion bailout for 50 states, tribal governments, U.S. territories, and more than 30,000 cities and counties.

Today, critics blame the massive largess in “Covid-aid” for spiking the inflation that’s running rampant in the country today. 

Our auditors at OpenTheBooks mapped the data to each of the 50 states and localities. Click here to see how much taxpayer money Congress earmarked your hometown to receive from the COVID “relief” bill.

As a state, Texas 
received the second most “bailout” dollars from the bill. California received $42.3 billion while Texas governments at the state and local levels received $27.3 billion. 

While the state government in Texas was running a $1 billion surplus, Congress bailed them out for an additional $16.8 billion. 


Here are units of local government that received the most.


The top five Texas counties receiving ARPA Covid-bailouts included: Harris County ($914 million); Dallas County ($511.1 million); Tarrant County ($407.8 million); Bexar County ($388.6 million); and Travis County ($247.1 million). 


The top five Texas cities receiving the Covid-bailouts included: Houston ($614.5 million); Dallas ($377.1 million); San Antonio ($326.6 million); Austin ($195.8 million); and Fort Worth ($184.8 million). 

Wealthiest Cities

Then, there are the wealthiest towns in Texas that received big bailouts. 

The richest town in Texas is Highland Park and the city received $2 million. The median home price is $1.5 million and notable residents include the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, and the Bush family.

Other wealthy cities receiving ARPA Covid-aid included: Terrell Hills ($1.2 million); Celina ($3.6 million); Bellaire ($4.1 million); Southlake ($7 million); West University Place ($3.4 million); and Prosper ($5.4 million).

The median incomes in these towns ranged between $146,000 and $250,000 per household.

So why did Congress bail them out? And, why did Texas and the local governments take the money?

Learn more at 

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