Fact Check: 92% Of The $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill Is NOT Going To 'Foreign Entities'

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: 92% Of The $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill Is NOT Going To 'Foreign Entities' False Numbers

Is 92% of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill going to "foreign entities"? No, that's not true: The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 consists almost entirely of domestic spending, a fact that's confirmed by experts and the legislation itself. The claim is made without sources or evidence.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published on March 8, 2021. It included a visualization of the $1.9 trillion plan and read:

This is roughly $152 BILLION That's the 8% reserved for the struggling citizens...92% goes to foreign entities...

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Mar 10 15:17:27 2021 UTC)

The post provided no sourcing for its claim.

Let's take a look at the actual legislation, which can be seen here. The House of Representatives passed a version of the bill on February 27, 2021. With some changes, the Senate passed the legislation on March 6, 2021. On March 10, 2021, the House gave final approval of the bill, which moves next to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it into law.

The $1.9 trillion stimulus plan has several key components, almost all of which are domestic. One of the main ones is that it would provide direct payments to Americans. Individuals making under $75,000 a year would receive a $1,400 check. The plan would also extend unemployment benefits, provide funding for COVID-related costs, expand the child tax credit and give a boost to struggling state and local governments.

Last month, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget published a breakdown of the original House bill. Of the nearly $2 trillion total, just $10 billion was earmarked for foreign aid, representing roughly one-half of 1% of the total. In contrast, more than $400 billion was marked for stimulus checks, $350 billion for state and local aid and roughly $130 billion was tagged for K-12 education.

Lead Stories reached out Erica York, an economist with the Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy nonprofit, to provide context on the post's claim. In an email, dated March 10, 2021, she wrote:

The legislation contains more than $400 billion in direct payments to Americans alone, representing about 20 percent of the bill, clearly more than the $152 billion claim in the post, and that's not even counting the public health funding, tax credit expansions, and support to state and local governments and schools.

Lead Stories also reached out to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that opposes the plan, to ask about the post. In an email, dated March 10, 2021, senior policy analyst Adam Michel responded:

The bill is a wish list of the far left that has very little to do with public health or the economic crisis. However, the bill is almost entirely domestic spending. More than $800 billion goes to tax credits, tax rebates and unemployment insurance, all direct payments to Americans. Another $540 billion will go directly to state and local governments and other spending for federal health care expansion, small businesses and child care are all also domestic priorities.

In sum, a reading of the bill as well as comments from experts make clear the $1.9 trillion "American" Rescue Plan focuses on domestic spending. Claims to the contrary are false.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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