It may seem that there’s no limit to how quickly the government can spend money, but that’s not really the case. Congress can send the money out to federal agencies, states, and localities, but sometimes the money just sits there in the accounts for a long while. Sometimes the bureaucracy is slow moving, sometimes the contracting process takes a while, and sometimes the agency can’t easily find a contractor who can do the work.
The Government Accountability Office estimates that “more than $1 trillion in pandemic relief aid approved over the last year remains unspent, including $156 billion by the Department of Health and Human Services and another $210 billion that was allocated for state and local governments.”
But don’t worry! The new infrastructure bills will not divert unspent COVID-19 relief funding.