Williams and Van Duyne: COVID-19 Pandemic Fraud Must be Addressed and These Two Bills Do Exactly That
Washington, September 13, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, and Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) issued the following statements as both of their bills addressing COVID-19 fraud are scheduled to be marked up in Committee tomorrow.
“When COVID-19 hit the United States, the SBA was tasked with taking on an oversized role to help save small businesses and our nation’s job creators. Unfortunately, the SBA failed to properly implement basic guardrails to protect these programs that allowed opportunistic criminals to take advantage of these emergency lending programs,” said Chairman Williams. “One of the main goals of this Committee has been to find solutions to recoup the stolen pandemic funds for the taxpayers and hold these fraudsters accountable. These two bills we plan to mark-up on Thursday do exactly that. There’s still more work to be done, but this is a step in the right direction.”
“Despite ever-worsening reports of fraud in pandemic lending programs, the SBA continues to ignore its obligation to recover these stolen funds – never mind taking responsibility for failing to implement safeguards to protect taxpayers’ money. Today, my colleagues and I took another important step toward holding the SBA and pandemic fraudsters accountable,” said Congresswoman Van Duyne.
The SBA and the Biden Administration have failed to take meaningful action in regards to the fraud that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. These bills address different aspects of this massive issue. Chairman Williams’ bill prohibits anyone convicted of defrauding any pandemic related assistance program from ever receiving an SBA loan again. Congresswoman Van Duyne’s legislation, on the other hand, requires the SBA to provide a link on their website so that individuals may self-report fraud, helping the SBA streamline their enormous amount of casework.
Both pieces of legislation were introduced on September 13, 2023.