House Dems Turn on Biden – Rip Administration for Delayed Checks

After the Trump administration and then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin put together what was hailed as the fastest delivery of stimulus payments in history, the Biden administration is receiving criticism for a slow delivery from its $1.9 trillion spending package passed earlier this month.
And the criticism is coming from House Democrats, The Hill reported, which is pinning blame on the IRS and Social Security Administration (SSA) holdovers from the Trump administration.
The payments most delayed are individuals already on government assistance, The Hill reported.
“The SSA has to get the damn files to the IRS,” Reps. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., told The Hill. “They should have had it there [Wednesday] so we can get these payments out. They should have got it last week. These are some of our most vulnerable neighbors.
“They’re the ones that are getting shafted because government agencies are not doing what they’re supposed to do.”
Two weeks before the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was passed, the IRS requested the payment files for Americans who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement Board, or Veterans Affairs benefits, and do not file tax returns.
“We demand that you immediately provide the IRS with this information by [Thursday],” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., Pascrell and Reps. John Larson, D-Conn., and Danny K. Davis, D-Ill., wrote in a letter to SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul, a Trump administration appointee.
An SSA spokesperson told The Hill the request for the information came before the stimulus bill was passed, when it was not authorized to send the beneficiary files.
“Social Security staff is working day and night with Treasury and IRS representatives to ensure that the electronic file of Social Security and SSI recipients is complete, accurate, and ready to be used to issue payments,” SSA spokesperson Mark Hinkle told The Hill.
The payments for those who had filed tax returns this year or last have either received their $1,400 payments per individual via direct deposit, while those who do not have bank account information on file were sent a check or a debit card Wednesday, according to the report.
The Biden administration said Wednesday 127 million payments have been sent out to date, totaling $325 billion. There are an estimated 158.5 million households eligible for stimulus payments.
Requests for comment from the Treasury Department, Veterans Affairs Department, and Railroad Retirement Board were not returned to The Hill.
The Trump administration’s tool for non-filers to submit payment information has closed, according to the report.
“The American Rescue Plan was intended to provide much-needed economic stimulus and assistance to people across the country – immediately – and we are counting on your agencies to ensure that beneficiaries are not left behind in the seamless delivery of those payments,” the Democrats had written Monday in a letter to Saul and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettign, another Trump appointee holdover.
“Some of our most vulnerable seniors and persons with disabilities, including veterans who served our country with honor, are unable to pay for basic necessities while they wait for their overdue payments,” they wrote.
Rettign’s term expires in 2022 and Saul’s ends in 2025, but Pascrell has called on Biden to Saul earlier this month, The Hill reported.
via newsmax

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