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Broward officials defend $140M COVID relief hotel

Broward County, Florida – $140 million of federal government aid was used for a 29-story luxury hotel. For some Republicans it is egregious.
The 800-room hotel at the county-owned Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center is funded from the $350 billion American Rescue Plan, also known as the COVID-19 Stimulus Package.
“It’s hard to imagine how a four-star hotel is helping fund the pain of COVID,” recently said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who wanted to set more limits on how the plan’s money was spent.
Broward County commissioners found a way to make the COVID relief hotel legal and responded to criticism with a statement on Friday.
Monica Cepero, the county’s administrator released the county’s defense. According to Cepero, the hotel project “clearly” meets this guidance: A recipient of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act may provide aid for “a planned expansion or upgrade of tourism, travel and hospitality facilities delayed due to the pandemic.”
According to Liz Bourgeois, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, the funds are meant to help local governments “recover from financial distress” and “achieve their own strategies for restoring jobs.”
 

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