COVID-19 Accountability: Protecting Our Taxpayer Dollars in the Pandemic
Every dollar matters.
The United States is confronting extraordinary challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic; and all of the trillions of dollars Congress is dedicating to this fight will be needed to help Americans pick themselves up and undo the damage of Covid-19.
We know that with the unprecedented infusion of public funds comes substantial risk that monies designated for economic recovery and health care will be diverted through fraud, waste and abuse.
Whistleblowers are on the front lines in safeguarding our taxpayer funds. Empowered by the False Claims Act’s “qui tam” provisions, whistleblowers are helping protect against those who may try to cheat and defraud the government at this critical moment.
Our country cannot afford the theft of public funds. That’s why we are grateful for the courage of whistleblowers who bring government fraud schemes to light.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), the Paycheck Protection Program Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act, the Keeping American Workers Employed and Paid Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act together provide nearly $3 trillion in taxpayer funds to boost business and economic activity, deliver health care resources to treat COVID-19, and help unemployed workers. In addition to providing $560 billion to individuals, the CARES Act and related legislation allocates billions of dollars in government funds to a number of industry sectors, including:
$34.9B for the Department of Agriculture to provide nutrition assistance, and including $9.5B to support agricultural producers
$3.08B for post-pandemic economic development and to support to local law enforcement and prisons
$10.5B for the Department of Defense, including funding for the deployment of the National Guard, the purchase of personal protective equipment, and the expansion of military hospitals
$377B for the Small Business Administration to provide loans and grants to businesses to keep employees on the payroll (an additional $320B was allocated when the funds were exhausted in two weeks), plus $1.82B to support small businesses with other loans and grants
$45B for a Disaster Relief Fund administered by the Department of Homeland Security
$2B for the Department of the Interior to assist Native communities and tribal governments
$172.1 billion for investments in health care, vaccine development and the purchase of critical supplies
$19.57B for the Veterans Affairs Administration and related agencies to support an increase in demand for VA services relating to COVID-19 and for mobile treatment centers
$1.1B for the Department of State to support diplomatic facilities and personnel
$48.5B for transportation and housing, including funding for the airline industry, Amtrak, public transit systems, Community Development Block Grant Program, homeless services, and rental assistance
Government oversight alone will not be enough to ensure that these funds are not lost to fraud. Whistleblowers will be our most critical partners in protecting taxpayer dollars in this time of great need.
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund can help whistleblowers and whistleblower attorneys understand the tools and resources available as they consider reporting fraud against the government.
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