The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the most unprecedented times in American history. People all across Eastern Washington were forced to lock down and many lost their jobs. In response, the United States government spent trillions of dollars on everything from supporting hospitals to helping businesses keep the lights on and pay their employees.
Unfortunately, some bad actors saw the pandemic as an opportunity to take advantage of the government trying to help those who needed it most. They filled out fake loan applications, pretended to run businesses they didn’t own, and stole more than $200 billion.
At the same time, billions more taxpayer dollars intended to help businesses and support our economy through the pandemic have gone completely unspent. This waste, fraud, and abuse absolutely must stop, which is why I helped pass H.R. 4666 and the RECLAIM Taxpayer Funds Act to claw back any money that was stolen or unused and return it to the American people.
We also passed another bill, H.R. 5427, to make sure this never happens again by permanently banning anyone convicted of defrauding the government for a pandemic-era small business loan from ever receiving one in the future.
The bottom line is this: You work hard for your money, and Congress has a responsibility to make sure it isn’t wasted. I hope by helping pass these common sense bills, you know that this will always be a top priority for me.