Funding Will Help Ensure that Relief Dollars Are Appropriately and Efficiently Spent
WASHINGTON – Following Senate votes last week on the resolution for priorities for the next COVID-19 relief package, the House of Representatives is drafting legislation for the package. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Gary Peters (D-MI), Committee Chairman, called for Senate and House leaders to include $117 million to fund oversight of how relief funds are being spent. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform last night released their legislative text, and it includes the funding that Senator Hassan called for.
“Communities in New Hampshire and across the country are counting on additional relief that will strengthen vaccine distribution so we can save lives, assist families and small businesses that are struggling economically, and support schools as they work to hold in-person learning. That’s why we must work to ensure that the relief funding that we pass quickly gets to the right place,” said Senator Hassan. “I am pleased that Congressional leaders heeded our calls to include funding for oversight of where relief dollars are going, and I will continue working to get this across the finish line.”
As Senator Hassan called for, the House legislative text includes $77 for the Government Accountability Office, which conducts independent review over government actions, and $40 million for the Pandemic Response and Accountability Committee, which is a panel of inspectors general created as part of the CARES Act to strengthen transparency and accountability of relief spending.
Senator Hassan’s push is part of her ongoing efforts to strengthen government accountability and root out waste, fraud, and abuse. The government funding bill that was passed into law last year included the bipartisan Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act, which Senator Hassan cosponsored to curb federal improper payments to the deceased and save taxpayer dollars. It also included bipartisan bills that Senator Hassan helped lead to strengthen government accountability by expanding whistleblower protections and authorizing the Oversight.gov website.