Meghan Blonder writes for the Washington Free Beacon about another case of dubious federal government spending.

Since January 2023, President Joe Biden’s National Science Foundation (NSF) has spent millions of dollars on grants funded by the American Rescue Plan, Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus package. The grants have nothing to do with COVID, but they do fund studies on climate change.

The American Rescue Plan, which Biden said would bring “direct relief to families bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis,” sent $600 million to the NSF. The agency pledged to use the funding to “support groups of individuals and institutions most strongly affected by the pandemic.” Three years after Biden signed the legislation, that money is still going out the door—through research grants that aren’t COVID-related.

One July 2023 grant, for example, funded a $246,000 Amherst College study meant to “deepen our understanding of how floodplains have responded to … climatic changes.” A more than $7 million grant awarded one month earlier to the University of Texas at Austin will help develop “a learning environment that is welcoming to marginalized and minoritized researchers.” The NSF sent another $181,000 to California Polytechnic State University in December to investigate “the structural organization, and changes therein, of a school of fish.”

In total, the agency has awarded more than $23 million in American Rescue Plan grants since January 2023 that are unrelated to COVID, federal spending disclosures show.

The revelation undermines congressional Democrats’ defense of the spending package, which economists say helped drive inflation to a nearly 40-year high. While Republicans panned the bill as wasteful, arguing that it was not needed to boost the U.S. economy, Democrats touted it as a “lifeline” to struggling Americans. …

… In many cases, however, the funding went to obscure projects that were not tied to the pandemic. In others, recipients of American Rescue Plan funds struggled to spend them in a timely manner.