Joe Biden asking Congress to pay $1.6B to clean up fraud cases
President Joe Biden’s administration is asking Congress to agree to pay more than $1.6 billion to clean up the chaos of fraud against the government’s massive coronavirus pandemic relief program.
In a strategy unveiled Thursday, the administration will use funds and more to prosecute cases, prevent identity theft and introduce new ways to help those whose identity has been stolen. requested time.
Gene Sperling, the White House’s bailout plan coordinator for America, said in a call with reporters that Congress, including the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, sees spending as an investment, often against Democratic administrations. I expected.
“It’s very clear and the evidence is so strong that if you use your $1 wisely here, it will either go back to the taxpayer or save you at least $10,” said Sperling, who has already recovered. The U.S. Secret Service last year recovered $286 million sent in fraudulently obtained loans through the Small Business Administration.
Sperling said the request would be part of Biden’s proposed budget on March 9, but most of it would be separate from the spending request for the full year. The details will have to be resolved in Congress.
Shortly after parts of the US economy shut down after the coronavirus hit the country in 2020, Congress began approving massive relief measures to help affected governments, businesses and individuals. The bailouts, some signed by Mr. Biden and others by his predecessor Donald Trump, total about $6 trillion. This is more than the annual government spending before the pandemic.
The money was used to boost unemployment insurance programs, help people in the gig economy who lost their jobs, cover government costs, and keep businesses running.
“Overall, these programs have been very effective,” says Sperling. “In some cases, guardrails were lowered unnecessarily, leading to unnecessary and large-scale fraud.”
A congressional committee has found that a financial technology company is not properly screening applicants for its huge paycheck protection program. Fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits overwhelmed the state’s computer systems, slowing many legitimate applications while sometimes making it difficult to identify bogus systems. The Labor Department estimates he had $164 billion in improper unemployment fraud payments alone. Many of them are by scammers.
Many of the scams relied on fake or stolen personal information.
Biden’s plan aims to address prosecution and prevention. He is demanding his $600 million for prosecution, which includes at least 10 new Department of Justice lawmakers, in addition to his three already in existence to go after crime syndicates and other crooks. Includes funds to create an assault force for He is also seeking to extend the statute of limitations for such crimes from his current five years to his ten years, giving more time to investigate and prosecute cases.
And he’s calling for policy changes to allow the Office of the Labor Inspector General’s continued access to data showing where the same ID was used to claim benefits in multiple states. That office and other inspector general offices will share at least $300 million to hire investigators.
Biden also plans to eventually issue an executive order directing federal agencies on how to combat identity fraud, including modernizing government systems to prevent identity theft.
A portion of the funds will be used to improve the Federal Trade Commission’s website, IdentityTheft.gov. This is the place to report identity theft and get help.
The proposal also states that $1.6 billion from the American Rescue Plan, the last major bailout to be adopted in 2021, will be available by June to help states improve their fight against identity theft. It also mentions becoming