The head of a congressional panel says the U.S. government failed to take basic steps at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to prevent fraud in a federal aid program intended to help small businesses. Democratic Rep. James Clyburn on Tuesday blamed the Trump administration for problems in the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program amid revelations 20% of the money may have been awarded to fraudsters. The program is overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration, whose inspector general says there was a struggle at the agency about the “need for speed versus the need for controls.” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise says Democrats are undermining the successes.
Photo:Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jovita Carranza, administrator of the Small Business Administration,listen during a House Small Business Committee hearing on oversight of the Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury pandemic programs on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 17, 2020. (Erin Scott/Pool via AP)