Friday, January 19, 2024

Waste of the Day: $189 Billion In Pandemic Aid Can Be Used for Non-Covid Costs; Congressional Republicans Celebrate SBA Collecting On More COVID Loans After Pressuring Agency, and other C-Virus related stories

Waste of the Day: $189 Billion In Pandemic Aid Can Be Used for Non-Covid Costs:
Of the $325 billion given to states and local governments to help cover costs stemming from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, less than half of that has been spent. And instead of returning the taxpayer funds to the federal government, a new law from the Department of the Treasury allows states and local governments to spend that money on essentially anything.
The law also applies to an additional $25 million given to tribal governments ($20 billion) and U.S. territories ($4.5 billion).
Under the American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated the funds, state and local governments must obligate the funds before the end of 2024. The new rule allows governments to count funds as obligated if they are merely reported to the Treasury by April 2024.
In other words, if states and local governments and the other entities haven’t needed to spend all the money they received for pandemic relief, they can just say it’s been obligated and keep it.
The 50 states and Washington D.C. received $195 billion, and local governments received $130 billion, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
States only spent 45% of the pandemic aid ($88.2 billion) they were given, and local governments only spent 38% ($47.9 billion). That leaves $189 billion of unspent funds that can be used for whatever these governments want, including updating swimming pools, golf courses and sports stadiums at a time when the country's national debt has exceeded $33 trillion. --->READ MORE HERE
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Congressional Republicans celebrate SBA collecting on more COVID loans after pressuring agency:
Congressional Republicans are celebrating the Small Business Administration (SBA) collecting on COVID-19 loans after putting pressure on the agency to do so.
Several GOP senators and House members have put the SBA in their sights regarding the pandemic-era loans, with the agency telling lawmakers they are going to collect repayments from defaulted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) loans under $100,000.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who has been a leading voice on the issue, told Fox News Digital that "2024 is already bringing new opportunities for accountability at Biden’s mismanaged SBA!"
"After nearly a year of oversight, the agency finally answered my calls to collect billions of taxpayer dollars in delinquent and fraudulent COVID loans," Ernst, the ranking member of the Senate Small Business Committee, said.
"I will keep working to ensure the more than $200 billion the agency doled out to fraudsters does not go unpunished or uncollected, and as always, I am committed to making Washington bureaucrats squeal and protecting our hard-earned dollars from waste and abuse," she said.
House Small Business Committee Chairman Roger Williams told Fox News Digital it "is great to see the Committee’s oversight activities culminate in the SBA reversing course to finally do right by the taxpayers."
"However, our work is not done," Williams said. "The Committee will continue looking into why the SBA didn’t send these loans to Treasury earlier, the quantitative analysis to justify this decision, and how the government should appropriately handle the remaining pandemic loan portfolio." --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

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USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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