President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies have touted his so-called American Rescue Plan as a necessary tool for revitalizing America’s COVID-battered economy. But Republicans across the U.S. don’t seem to agree.
According to The Washington Times, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and GOP officials from two other states are dragging the Biden administration into court over a provision in the latest coronavirus relief package that they argue hampers states’ rights.
“Blatantly violates the Constitution”
As the Times explained in its Wednesday report, Attorney General Paxton alleges that under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, states are unconstitutionally barred from accepting federal relief funds tied to the coronavirus pandemic if the money will be used to “directly or indirectly” offset the cost of tax breaks.
“This is yet another attempt by the federal government to unlawfully exert control over how sovereign states operate,” Paxton complained in a Tuesday statement, according to the Times.
“While hiding behind a deceptively friendly name, the Act effectively removes Texas’ ability to lower taxes while granting Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen power to take back federal aid funds if they disagree with state tax policies,” he added.
The case, led by Texas and joined by Louisana and Mississippi, was reportedly filed in federal court on Tuesday. The three states are seeking to have the tax provisions of the law voided.
“By design, Congress lacks the power to assert control over states and cannot coerce a state into adopting a policy,” Paxton said in his statement. “The Tax Mandate, which does precisely that, blatantly violates the Constitution and cannot stand.”
More court battles
Of course, this is far from the only time Paxton has found himself in court fighting against alleged oversteps by the Biden White House. In January, Fox News reported that Paxton had obtained an injunction halting the Biden administration’s proposed 100-day moratorium on deportations.
“We brought this lawsuit for a couple of reasons,” the state attorney general said in an interview with Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo. “One, we had an agreement, [with] Texas and [the Department of] Homeland Security, that they wouldn’t make any major shifts in immigration policy without giving us sufficient notice to adjust.”
He went on: “Second, federal law specifically requires that deportations take place if people are here illegally, and this president has decided to ignore what’s been passed by Congress…which we then think is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.”
Paxton sued again in April, this time joining with Missouri to challenge President Biden’s decision to cancel the Migrant Protection Protocols established under former President Donald Trump. “President Biden could immediately remedy the influx of crime pouring across our border by reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols,” Paxton said in a statement at the time, according to Fox.
It seems the court battles are only just beginning.