Tags: gene sperling | covid | trump | biden

Biden Slams Trump COVID Relief, Announces Gene Sperling to Oversee $1.9T Rescue Plan

Biden Slams Trump COVID Relief, Announces Gene Sperling to Oversee $1.9T Rescue Plan
(Getty)

By    |   Monday, 15 March 2021 03:17 PM

The Trump administration’s COVID relief act became a “free-for-all” for well-connected companies, something the Biden administration won’t allow to happen with economist Gene Sperling overseeing the implementation of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden said Monday during a press briefing on the implementation of the legislation.   

Sperling, a longtime Democrat economic policy expert who served as director of the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama, will oversee spending from the relief plan that Biden signed into law last week.

“When Congress last year passed the CARES Act, Congress created a committee of inspectors general to make sure every penny of that money was spent as it was directed,” Biden said in a televised appearance from the White House.

“One of the first things the previous administration did was fire the head of the inspectors general committee. So, when Congress passed what was intended to be a small business relief program, it instead became a free-for-all for well-connected companies. Mainstream businesses, from hardware stores to beauty salons that needed the help most, were left behind; 400,000 are now gone. We will not let that happen this time.”

Sperling, who advised Biden’s campaign in 2020, will officially serve as the White House American Rescue Plan coordinator and as a senior adviser to Biden.

“I learned from my experience implementing the Recovery Act, just how important it is to have someone who can manage all the moving parts with efficiency, speed and integrity and accountability. … Gene will be on the phone with mayors and governors, red states, blue states, a source of constant communication, a source of guidance and support, and above all, a source of accountability for us to get the job done,” Biden said in announcing Sperling’s assignment.

Biden in 2009 was the point person for the Obama administration’s $800 billion stimulus plan.

Under Trump, more than 7.5 million loans were approved for $700 billion during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Small Business Administration.   

Just 1% of Paycheck Protection Program borrowers received over 25% of the loan money, according to the New York Times.

Biden said he expects the benefits in his relief act to get to Americans quickly.

“Help is here, and hope is here, in real, tangible ways,” said Biden.

Not a single congressional Republican voted for the relief act, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks, $130 billion for schools, $350 billion for state and local governments and an extension of unemployment benefits, among other items.

"The Senate has never spent $2 trillion in a more haphazard or less rigorous way," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week. “Democrats inherited a tide that is already turning."

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Politics
gene sperling, covid, trump, biden
449
2021-17-15
Monday, 15 March 2021 03:17 PM
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