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Treasury announces COVID-19 relief oversight office

Treasury announces COVID-19 relief oversight office

The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced an office to oversee COVID-19 relief programs approved in multiple bills since last year that totaled trillions of dollars.

“A new, cohesive model for recovery program implementation at Treasury will help get relief distributed quickly and into the hands of those who need it most,” said Deputy Secretary Wally AdeyemoWally AdeyemoTreasury announces COVID-19 relief oversight office On The Money: Social Security gives IRS data for COVID-19 relief checks | Senate passes bill heading off Medicare cuts Senate confirms Adeyemo as deputy Treasury secretary MORE.

“Already we are getting individual payments out the door faster and in greater volume than ever before. We hope to continue this improved delivery, while also supporting outreach between Treasury and important stakeholders across the country," he added.

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The Office of Recovery Programs will be led by Chief Recovery Officer Jacob Leibenluft, currently counselor to Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenJudge rejects GOP effort to block tax provision in Biden stimulus bill Growing inflation is Biden's hidden tax on working Americans The Biden administration's domestic approach to foreign policy MORE and an alumnus of the Obama White House and the left-leaning Center for American Progress think tank.

Huge sums of cash have already been disbursed in the form of stimulus payments, but unemployment benefits, tax credits and other forms of COVID-19 relief remain to be spent from the bevy of pandemic legislation. 

That includes $420 billion from the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion package President BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE signed into law last month.

The Biden administration faces a challenge to manage the oversight of the programs to ensure that borrowed dollars are spent effectively and efficiently. 

Over the past year, huge sums of money have been lost to fraud in programs such as unemployment and small business relief.

Among the programs to be overseen — which currently are spread out over various offices — are funds for state and local aid, emergency rental and homeowners' assistance programs, small business credits and funds for the relief of ailing public transport. 

Tax-driven programs such as stimulus checks and child tax credits will remain separate.