With the hundreds of billions of dollars the HEALS Act would send coursing through the U.S. economy, we would think Congress would want to invest in greater oversight of that money.
Some of the previous legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has recognized the need for transparency regarding the trillions of dollars authorized so far. But the HEALS Act seems to be tapping the brakes on oversight.
For instance, the Department of Education would receive $105 billion for an “Education Stabilization Fund.” That’s a lot of money headed to every state and territory. But the Office of Inspector General for that department will get only an additional $7 million to keep track of the use of those and other funds in the bill.
Likewise, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is given authority over a “Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund” worth $29 billion. The HHS Inspector General gets an additional $6 million.
In fact, Taxpayers for Common Sense only found increases for the Inspectors General of three federal departments, Education, HHS, and Labor. All told, and additional $18 million is devoted to oversight of more than a trillion dollars worth of spending. Check out our handy, and brief, chart.
That ain’t a lot of love for proper oversight.