Following Top Watchdog’s Removal, Tester Urges Federal Agencies to Use Coronavirus Relief Funds Effectively
Tester: ‘It is critically important for your agency to be fully transparent and open to independent oversight’
Following President Trump’s removal of the Chairman of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee—charged with overseeing the distribution of $2.2 trillion in taxpayer dollars—U.S. Senator Jon Tester is taking steps to ensure every federal agency is properly overseeing its own recovery funds.
Tester urged the heads of every federal agency tasked with pandemic recovery assistance to establish protocols to make sure coronavirus relief funds are targeted to the most affected businesses and individuals, and to update procedures to identify and prevent fraud and abuse.
“This is a critical time in our nation’s history and the Department plays a vital role in our recovery,” Tester wrote in the letters. “Given the President’s recent removal of the Chairman of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee and trillions of taxpayer dollars going out the door, it is critically important for your agency to be fully transparent and open to independent oversight… As you work to implement COVID-19 legislation, we ask that you provide Congress a detailed plan on how the Department plans to execute these funds and what accountability measures are being put in place to ensure our taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively.”
Tester has led the charge to ensure aggressive oversight of the $2.2 trillion dollars Congress appropriated for virus relief. Tester was joined by Senator Mitt Romney in urging President Trump to ensure the independence of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery—a position they worked to create within the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—and to provide Congress with details about its plans for rigorous oversight after Trump signaled when signing the bill that he would not allow the position to report to Congress without Presidential supervision.
The full text of Tester’s letters can be found here:
- Department of Labor
- Department of Education
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Small Business Administration
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Treasury
- Department of Agriculture
Visit tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresources for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak.