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Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has filed suit against President Biden’s administration, seeking to bar the White House from withholding federal funds to the state over differences in school COVID-19 policy.
“The governor’s office will not eliminate or change the (education) programs to conform to Treasury’s unlawful dictates,” the lawsuit states, according to the Arizona Republic.
“In Arizona, our top priority is to get kids caught up, and we are using a wide range of resources to make that happen — including federal dollars allocated to our state,” Ducey said on Friday.
“Make no mistake, we will always support families and kids while protecting their right to choose an education that best fits their needs,” the governor added.
The Biden administration informed the state it must stop withholding federal funding from schools with mask mandates or the department may take back over $160 million in coronavirus relief money the state designated for schools.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich firmly repudiated the administration’s threat, threatening swift legal action if pushed.
Brnovich published a letter Jan. 20 to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen after Yellen threatened, on behalf of the Biden administration, to withhold funds from the state due to a difference in COVID-19 policy.
“Madam Secretary, the states created the federal government, not the other way around,” Brnovich wrote. “Unfortunately, members of the Biden administration have continuously ignored this fundamental principle of our great nation when proposing and enacting bureaucratic mandates and harmful regulations upon individual states.”