- A Fox Business host said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was "pandering" by sending $450-per-child checks.
- The checks are expected to go to around 60,000 Florida families to "offset the costs of rising inflation."
- A spokesperson for DeSantis defended the checks, saying the money would be "wasted" if the governor didn't send them out.
Fox Business host Dagen McDowell slammed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for sending $450-per-child checks to some families to offset the costs of inflation, accusing him of "pandering."
"Actually that's worse than pandering, you're just handing out money to people," McDowell said while filling in for Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria" on Monday.
McDowell ripped the stimulus checks as "a level of moronacy that you see out of [California Governor] Gavin Newsom. We're going to fight inflation by fueling inflation with stimulus checks."
About 60,000 Florida families are expected to receive the checks, which were announced on July 15 as a way to offset rising inflation and are funded using federal money from Biden's American Rescue Plan Act.
Bryan Griffin, DeSantis' deputy press secretary, defended the checks against McDowell's criticism on Twitter. He said the payments would go to foster families — which are just one of the eligible types of families — and the money would be "wasted" if it wasn't used.
—Bryan Griffin (@BryanDGriffin) July 25, 2022
In a statement to Insider, a spokesperson for DeSantis clarified Griffin's comments about payments going "specifically" to foster families, saying he didn't say "exclusively."
The spokesperson, Christina Pushaw, said Griffin's Twitter is a personal account but "the content of the tweet regarding the federal dollars and concern about federal money printing causing rampant inflation is in alignment with the governor's position on this matter and previous statements he has made."
McDowell doubled down on her position in response, calling the checks "bad economic policy" and "extra welfare."
—Dagen McDowell (@dagenmcdowell) July 25, 2022
Fox Business didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Eligible recipients of the Florida payments include foster parents, relative and non-relative caregivers, and families receiving funds from the Florida Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or Guardianship Assistance Program, Florida Department of Children and Families spokesperson Laura Walthall, told Insider.
"This one-time payment assists families who are being affected by rising inflation and preparing to send their children back-to-school," Walthall said in a statement to Insider.