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- House Select Subcommittee on the
Coronavirus Crisis Chair Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Oversight & Reform
Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), and Chair of the
Oversight & Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy
Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) sent document requests to two companies, Atlas
Research and DD&T Group, regarding their work on a coronavirus
advertising campaign under contracts with HHS.
- Subcommittee Chair Clyburn sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, HHS
Secretary Alex Azar, and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, calling
on the Administration to immediately revise CDC guidance on
reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic to accurately
reflect the science.
- Subcommittee Chair Clyburn, Financial
Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), Oversight &
Reform Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), and Chair of the
Oversight & Reform Subcommittee on National Security
Representative Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper
requesting documents on the potentially inappropriate use of
hundreds of millions of dollars from the CARES Act.
- Representatives Katie Porter(D-CA),
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) asked HHS Secretary Alex Azar for a full
accounting of relief grants and loans to private equity -backed
healthcare companies. In a letter, they requested information on
which providers had been denied taxpayer aid and on the process
behind allocating loans. They also sought a breakdown of taxpayer
funding by provider type as well as ownership.
- House Small Business Subcommittee on
Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations Chair Judy Chu (D-CA)
led a hearing probing internal controls against
fraud and abuse in key loan programs at the Small Business
Administration. During the hearing, government watchdog agencies
testified on their efforts to prevent fraud and waste in the PPP
and EIDL Program.
- Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and
Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Nannette Diaz Barragán (DCA)
introduced a bill to address the federal prison
system's response to COVID-19. The Federal Correctional
Facilities COVID-19 Response Act would require federal correctional
facilities to conduct free, weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing
for incarcerated persons and employees. It would also enhance data
collection in federal correctional facilities, deploy CDC officials
to correctional facilities to help quell outbreaks, require the
Federal Bureau of Prisons to update COVID-19 guidance for
correctional facilities, and ensure the Attorney General submits a
report to Congress on his agency's effortsto combat COVID-19 in
correctional facilities to date.
|B. Executive Agencies
- Oregon's OSHA is
delaying the release of its emergency rule aimed at protecting
workers from onthe-job coronavirus infections until Oct. 21, with
an effective date of Nov. 1. A permanent version of the rule could
be issued in spring 2021. Virginia has already enacted a workplace
virus regulation that would be enforced by its worker safety
agency, and California officials are working to implement a similar
rule by early December. The federal OSHA has not pursued a
temporary coronavirus rule, with agency leadership saying existing
regulations and laws are adequate.
- Federal guidance on whether and when employers
must notify OSHA of workers being hospitalized or dying because of
COVID-19 infections has been revised yet again. OSHA released the
latest changes, in the form of three frequently asked questions,
Wednesday evening. The change also led OSHA to drop a reporting
citation issued May 18 against a Georgia nursing home.
- Florida Recording Artist Diamond
Smith, along with Tonye Johnson of Pennsylvania, were charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and
conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud in connection with
their application and receipt of PPP loans. These charges relate to
the broader conspiracy involving Phillip Augustine, a talent
manager who is alleged to have obtained over $24 million in PPP
loans for his clients in return for kickbacks from each loan.
- Martin Kao, CEO of Martin Defense
Group LLC, has been charged with bank fraud and money laundering
for submitting two fraudulent PPP loan applications. Kao allegedly
received over $12 million in PPP Loans and then transferred over $2
million into personal accounts.
|C. State Attorneys General
- As Congress considers extending
federal support for the airline industry, a coalition of 40
attorneys general, led by Arizona AG Mark Brnovich and Colorado AG
Phil Weiser, wrote a letter to Congress urging it to attach a
series of consumer protections as conditions to any funding,
including requiring carriers to provide full refunds to customers
who cancel reservations for reasons related to the coronavirus and
strengthening the refund requirements in existing federal law. The
AGs further urged Congress to authorize state AGs to enforce
federal airline consumer protection laws; if Congress decides not
to do so, the coalition advocates transferring such authority from
the Department of Transportation to the Department of Justice or
Federal Trade Commission, which have more consumer protection
|D. Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR)
- On September 30, SIGPR published its
quarterly report to Congress. The report
highlights the SIGPR's various partnerships and includes
details on the Treasury's loans pursuant to the CARES Act. The
report highlights the hiring challenges SIGPR has faced. The SIGPR
now has a general counsel and a head of investigations but does not
expect to have a full audit team until early next year.
- On October 2, the U.S. Attorney's
Office for the District of Nevada announced a Memorandum of Understanding with the SIGPR
to investigate and prosecute fraud in the distribution of relief
authorized by the CARES Act. Like the other MOUs entered into by
the SIGPR, this MOU will allow cooperation in matters involving
loans, loan guarantees, and other investments made by the Secretary
of the Treasury under the CARES Act.
|E. Pandemic Recovery Accountability Committee (PRAC)
No updates this week
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