Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Committee President Maya MacGuineas Testifies on Oversight of COVID-19 Fiscal Relief

Jul 28, 2020 | Other Spending

For Immediate Release

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget president Maya MacGuineas will testify today, July 28, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the oversight of fiscal aid related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus far, of the $3.6 trillion in gross support approved by Congress, $2.1 trillion has been disbursed or committed and the rest is largely flowing as expected.

Below is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

The severity of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic meant that Congress needed to quickly distribute economic aid to help keep households and businesses afloat. While lawmakers largely achieved that goal so far, now we need to turn our attention to verifying that those federal dollars were used as intended.

Thanks largely to actions taken so far, personal incomes actually increased between February and May and many small businesses built up some cash reserves. 

Existing government transparency efforts allow us to track most of the $3.6 trillion Congress committed as it goes out the door, and in many cases see who got it. That is exactly what we’re doing through COVID Money Tracker.

Unfortunately, data provided by federal agencies has been inconsistent, and in some cases hard to decipher. We know money spent this fast can’t be perfectly targeted, but understanding where the money went can help make sure billions don’t get lost in the shuffle. 

This borrowing is absolutely necessary if the money is largely going where it is needed. Every dollar spent on a waste, fraud, pet projects, and special interest giveaways is a dollar unavailable to address the current public health and economic crisis. Meanwhile, such wasteful spending – especially without adequate transparency and accountability – will undermine public support for future recovery efforts.

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For more information, please contact John Buhl, director of media relations, at buhl@crfb.org