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Let's Cut Some Spending: Billions fraudulently wasted on pandemic relief

Remember the absolutely critical Omnibus spending bill Congress muscled through at the end of last year? It was 4,000 pages that no one read and cost taxpayers $1.7 trillion.

In our Let's Cut Some Spending series, ForAmerica will chronicle parts of the 2021 and 2022 spending bills from a variety of sources that you probably don't know about - programs, grants and spending of all kinds that should have never happened in the first place and many that are still happening.

Today’s offering: Billions fraudulently wasted on pandemic relief!

The Epoch Times reports:

Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Guzman declined to testify at the July 13 House Small Business Committee hearing seeking to understand why her staff found $160 billion less waste and fraud in $1.2 trillion in federal pandemic spending than did the agency’s internal watchdog.
Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), the House panel’s chairman, said in his opening statement as he explained the empty chair at the witness table, “As you can see by her empty seat, she declined the [committee’s] offer. You would think that a report from a nonpartisan watchdog claiming hundreds of billions of dollars were disbursed to criminals through the SBA would warrant her showing up for this committee today, but that obviously isn’t the case for Administrator Guzman.”
Christine Saah Nazer, a spokesperson for Ms. Guzman, told The Epoch Times, however, that “Administrator Guzman is on the road all week long. This is a simple scheduling conflict…
The hearing was prompted by dramatically different reports made public in June by Ms. Guzman’s office and the Office of Inspector-General (IG) at SBA. Ms. Guzman’s staff concluded that $36 billion was lost to waste or fraud in the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.
By contrast, the IG reported that SBA “disbursed approximately $1.2 trillion of [EIDL] and [PPP] funds. Using OIG’s investigative casework, prior OIG reporting, advanced data analytics, and additional review procedures, we estimate SBA disbursed more than $200 billion in potentially fraudulent COVID-19 EIDLs and PPP loans.

So they can't decide if $36 billion or $200 billion was wasted on fraudulent pandemic relief.

That's a HUGE gap. If it were only $1 billion wasted it would be too much.

And the Small Business Administration's administrator can't even be bothered to show up and get to the bottom of this.

We will pay for years for all the federal dollars doled out during the pandemic, and that this much money - and no doubt more - was so recklessly wasted only adds insult to injury.


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