Biden warns of corruption of coronavirus stimulus
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday warned he would carefully scrutinize any “big business or political insider” who received federal stimulus money they weren’t supposed to get from the relief program trillion dollars from government.
The alleged Democratic nominee has targeted Republican President Donald Trump’s administration’s management of stimulus funds after a number of large publicly traded companies with a lot of money in hand were able to dip into the money intended to help small businesses to overcome the coronavirus lockdown.
“Let me issue a warning now to anyone who participates in the corrupt giveaways of President Trump and his administration,” Biden said in a video statement.
Biden said that, if elected, he would appoint an inspector general “to review every stimulus loan given to a big business or a political insider.” Each of them.
The inspector general would have the power to report potential wrongdoing by a company or executive to the justice ministry, he said.
Since early March, Congress has passed bills allocating roughly $ 3 trillion to fight the pandemic, including taxpayer dollars for individuals and businesses to mitigate an economic impact that includes a rate unemployment at 14.7% in April.
“Any dollar that goes to someone who doesn’t deserve it under the law, any dollar taken corruptly, we’ll find it, we’ll come and get it, and we’ll punish the wrongdoers,” Biden said.
“It should start tomorrow. But if this is not the case, it will start on January 20, 2021. “
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he was shocked some large companies took out the loans and said the certifications were placed in small business loan application forms to force borrowers to read the loans. requirements.
A Biden campaign strategy document seen by Reuters last week said Trump’s coronavirus stimulus package contained “the biggest corporate bailout in US history” and rigged “cronyism” in in favor of big business, the wealthy and the financial sector.
The campaign cited media reports and research to suggest that small businesses with government ties have received help, that banks may prioritize high net worth clients when making loans under the scheme. emergency program and that Democratic-led states that did not support Trump’s re-election may not be getting enough support.
Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Steve Orlofsky