Dems call for firings of Trump-era holdovers in SSA over stimulus check delays

Dems call for firings of Trump-era holdovers in SSA over stimulus check delays

March 30, 2021

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The House Progressive Caucus on Tuesday called for the removal of Trump administration holdover officials they say are responsible for delaying the latest round of stimulus checks to 30 million Americans. 

The Democrats say Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul and Deputy Commissioner David Black must be fired for holding up the $1,400 checks that millions of Americans are counting on.

“These Trump appointees are responsible for delaying the delivery of survival checks for 30 million Americans, mostly seniors and people living with disabilities for nearly a month,” Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said Tuesday. “They refuse to hand over the data to the IRS that they needed to get the checks out for weeks and they stonewalled congressional efforts.”

“It’s an egregious betrayal of their roles, which has harmed millions of people who needed these checks to buy food and put gas in the car.”

FILE: WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 09: Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) questions Intelligence Committee Minority Counsel Stephen Castor and Intelligence Committee Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman during House impeachment inquiry hearings before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill December 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The IRS said Tuesday that it will begin distributing stimulus checks to millions of Social Security recipients and other lower-income Americans this weekend. The majority of the payments will be sent electronically and will arrive by Wednesday, April 7, the agency said.

The announcement comes after House Democrats last week sounded the alarm over delays in the delivery of the third round of cash payments to Americans who are not required to file tax returns — including some veterans and Social Security beneficiaries.

The lawmakers blamed Saul — who was nominated by former President Donald Trump — for the delays, which they said defied congressional intent and imposed needless anxiety on taxpayers.

Saul, in a statement Thursday night, attributed the delay to a lack of funding and political red tape that prevented the administration from working with the Treasury Department or IRS before the American Rescue Plan was passed.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) sent the missing files for about 30 million people to the IRS on Thursday, and the agency subsequently began the “multi-step process to review, validate and test tens of millions of records to ensure eligibility and proper calculation” of the check.

A spokesperson for Biden did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment about whether he intends to fire the Trump holdovers and appoint new leadership. 

The $1,400 checks were part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief legislation that he signed into law on March 11.

Fox Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.

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