Both of New Hampshire’s U.S. Senators cast votes to save a provision in President Joe Biden’s COVID relief bill that sent $1,400 taxpayer-funded checks to New Hampshire cop-killer Michael Addison and Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The COVID relief payments to prisoners are in the news because acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Nathaniel Mendell asked the court Wednesday to authorize the government to confiscate the approximately $3,885.06 in his inmate trust account. They believe the money should go to restitution to the victims of the 2013 bombing.
According to prosecutors, $1,400 of that total came from a COVID relief payment Tsarnaev received as part of the American Rescue Plan signed into law by Biden last March.
The House passed the legislation, including the provision sending COVID checks to incarcerated prisoners, without any GOP votes. Both N.H. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas voted for the bill.
On March 6, the Senate voted on an amendment from Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy “to ensure that the 2021 Recovery Rebates are not provided to prisoners.”
It failed by one vote, 49-50. If a single Democratic senator had voted “yes,” the amended bill would have gone to the House and almost certainly have been passed.
Both Hassan and Shaheen voted “no.”
On Thursday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent a statement calling out Hassan for her vote.
“What’s most concerning isn’t just that a terrorist received $1,400 in taxpayer money. It’s that Senate Democrats had a chance to prevent this from happening, and declined. This includes Senator Maggie Hassan, who represents nearby New Hampshire and is a Boston homeowner,” the NRSC said.
“Back in March, Senate Democrats rejected an amendment from Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) that would prohibit prisoners – like the Boston Marathon bomber, or Olympic sex abuser Larry Nassar, or convicted New Hampshire cop-killer Michael Addison – from receiving a COVID stimulus check,” they added.
Michael Addison shot and killed Manchester police officer Michael Briggs in 2006 during a multi-day crime spree across New Hampshire. However, the N.H. Department of Corrections says they have no record he received the COVID benefit.
Hassan refused to respond to questions about her vote to allow incarcerated felons to receive COVID benefits. She has also ordered her staff not to respond to any questions from New Hampshire Journal about her voting record or the conduct of her official duties as the 2022 campaign season begins.
“This vote is just one of 100 reasons Hassan’s Senate career is coming to the end of the line,” veteran GOP strategist Dave Carney told NHJournal.
Granite State Republicans also called out Kuster and Pappas for their votes to send checks to prisoners.
“Ann Kuster voted to deliver the Boston Marathon bomber a $1,400 stimulus check. Meanwhile, back in the real world, law-abiding Granite Staters on fixed incomes are struggling to heat their homes this winter due to skyrocketing energy costs,” said businessman Jeff Cozzens, who is running in the Second Congressional District Republican primary. “The Democrats in Washington have lost their minds. It’s time for us to deliver common sense to Washington.“
Candidates in the 2022 First CD GOP primary also called out Pappas for his vote.
“In Joe Biden and Chris Pappas’ spending spree, billions of dollars went to COVID tests that no one has received and now stimulus payments that go to terrorists. Chris Pappas continues to put criminals ahead of law-abiding taxpayers,” 2020 GOP nominee Matt Mowers said in a statement.
And former Trump White House staffer Karoline Leavitt tweeted that “[Pappas] & his Far-Left Party even BLOCKED a Republican Amendment to stop it Find me a person in New Hampshire who agrees with this. You can’t!”
In March, The Washington Post’s self-declared “fact-checker” gave Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) two Pinocchios for saying murderers and terrorists like Tsarnaev would get the taxpayer-funded benefits. On Thursday, the Post issued a partial retraction.
“We will reduce the rating on this claim to One Pinocchio — our version of ‘mostly true,'” they wrote. “His statement still lacks some context but he was certainly correct that Tsarnaev would receive a stimulus check.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The story has been updated to reflect new information from the N.H. Department of Corrections regarding Michael Addison and the COVID benefit.