Following a response to her request of state and federal agencies to provide a detailed account of COVID-19 response efforts, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne’s (D-IA) has launched a data tracker to provide accountability in the system.
Announcing her efforts as a matter of transparency, Axne has now tracked more than $9 billion meant for Iowa families and communities weathering the pandemic. What’s more, she has released that data to the public through the Iowa COVID-19 Response Tracker, detailing the spending of taxpayer funds and where they have ended up. The data was pulled from publicly available agency data but will be updated with additional funding details as more public disclosures or replies to her requests avail themselves.
“Ensuring that federal funding is available for Iowa families, businesses, and communities is not just about a vote in Washington – it’s about following that critical support every step of the way and ensuring that federal and state agencies are using that funding to help those in need,” Axne said. “With this new tracker, I hope to give Iowans the data to see the response efforts so far – as well as see what agencies have not yet been transparent about their spending. Transparency and accountability are essential for Iowans to see how their government has responded to this crisis.”
To date, only one response — though detailed — was given to Axne from among the eight she floated to state and federal agencies two weeks ago. The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management provided an accounting of its COVID-19 response efforts, detailing $144,861,544 in funding it received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its COVID-19 response. FEMA was among the agencies that have yet to respond to Axne.
So far, the tracker has charted more than $9.2 billion in money obligated for COVID-19 mitigation and response efforts in Iowa alone. Of that, more than $103 million was allotted for health systems, colleges, and other entities in Axne’s own district.
Other agencies Axne called on for details included the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Transportation, Iowa Department of Management and the Iowa Department of Human Services.