Treasury Dept. Creates New Office for Covid Relief Oversight

The Office of Recovery Programs will help administer $420 billion in coronavirus aid approved in the American Rescue Plan.

Source : Wikimedia Commons

April 16, 2021

Author : Patty Rodriguez

As we have previously reported, the first coronavirus relief bill, the Heroes Act, was not without its hiccups. To increase oversight of the relief bill signed into law in March, the Biden Administration is creating a new office within the Treasury Department.

According to the department, recovery programs overtaken by the new office will also include ones from the CARES Act, the second piece of coronavirus relief legislation. 

“These programs include the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, Emergency Rental Assistance, the Homeowner Assistance Fund, the State Small Business Credit Initiative, the Capital Projects Fund, the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Program, the Payroll Support Program, the Coronavirus Relief Fund and the Airline and National Security Loan Program,” the department said in a statement.

Previously these programs have been managed by varying offices within the Treasury; now, they are all being put under one roof in order to “build on that work and establish a sustainable model for efficiently and effectively implementing these programs that will make it easier for communities, businesses, and households to access relief.”

The enhanced Economic Impact Payments and the enhanced Child Tax Credit will continue to be handled by the Office of Tax Policy, Internal Revenue Service, and the Bureau of Fiscal Service. However, those agencies will coordinate relief with the Office of Recovery Programs.

Jacob Leibenluft will lead the new office as Chief Recovery Officer and report directly to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo. Leibenluft and the office will “work closely with Gene Sperling, the White House American Rescue Plan Coordinator and Senior Advisor to President Biden.”

Leibenluft previously served as an economic advisor to the Obama Administration, and served at the Treasury prior to that. He also served as an advisor to Hillary Clinton during her 2016 campaign. More recently he worked at the Democratic Party-aligned think tank Center for American Progress.

“We are thrilled that Jacob is willing to take on this portfolio. He has remarkable policy expertise to bring to these programs, and I’m confident that Americans will benefit from his dedication,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Adeyemo said.
The new office will serve as a “cohesive model for recovery program implementation at Treasury will help get relief distributed quickly and into the hands of those who need it most,” he said.

“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,” Adeyemo added.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Category : Coronavirus Pandemic Economic Stimulus Federal Government Taxes and the IRS Treasury Department

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