coronavirus

Treasury Creates New Office to Oversee Covid Relief Programs

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  • The Treasury Department will create a new office to oversee coronavirus relief programs.
  • The office will dole out about $420 billion in assistance approved in March as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
  • The IRS will still primarily manage direct payments and the expanded child tax credit, two major relief provisions.

The U.S. Treasury will create a new office to oversee the at times choppy effort to send out coronavirus relief, the department said Wednesday.

The Office of Recovery Programs will dole out about $420 billion in assistance approved in March as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The programs include state and local government aid, rental and homeowner relief and small business assistance.

The new Treasury initiative will also manage existing aid programs set up as part of the CARES Act and other coronavirus relief legislation passed last year. The Internal Revenue Service will still primarily manage direct payments and the expanded child tax credit, among other major relief provisions.

The Treasury Department said the office "will be principally focused on efficiently establishing and administering Treasury's programs to support an equitable and swift recovery" from the pandemic-fueled economic downturn.

The Biden administration created the office amid concerns about oversight of the mammoth government spending programs and the efficiency of payments. Republicans have also criticized the fact that some aid programs will not expire for months or more.

The Treasury Department did not provide an estimate of how much relief money has gone out so far.

Jacob Leibenluft, a former economic advisor in the Obama administration, will lead the new office. He will work with Gene Sperling, who is overseeing the Biden administration's rollout of the $1.9 trillion aid law.

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