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Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., says he is concerned that reports of coronavirus stimulus checks being sent to dead people are just the “tip of the iceberg” of waste coming from the massive $2.2 trillion package that Congress passed and President Trump signed last month.
Massie was the lone voice standing against the bill’s expedited passage in the House of Representatives, criticizing the way the House passed it without a recorded vote and panning measures he said had “no direct relation” to the pandemic. He said the bill “shouldn’t be stuffed full of Nancy Pelosi’s pork.”
Massie attempted to throw multiple procedural roadblocks up in front of the bill but his efforts were steamrolled by an overwhelming majority of the House in one minute and three seconds. Now, the dead relative of one of Massie’s friends has been among the many deceased, according to reports, to get one of the $1,200 stimulus checks provided for by the enormous bill he tried to stop.
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CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS REPORTEDLY BEING SENT TO DEAD PEOPLE
“I’m worried that this check to my deceased constituent is just the tip of the iceberg,” Massie said in a statement to Fox News. “The government is in such a rush to get the small business loans and the $1200 checks out the door that many mistakes will be made, and fraud will be rampant. The government is skipping the customary and necessary diligence that’s usually performed when transferring taxpayer money. Will these programs be sufficiently audited a year or two from now? I doubt it.”
On Wednesday afternoon, the Internal Revenue Service website didn’t have guidelines for the payments sent in error to the deceased.
MarketWatch reported the checks sent in error to dead people were not limited to Massie’s friend’s dad, and that at least one accountant who spoke to the publication had clients who had seen checks sent to dead people.
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Back in 2009, the Obama administration sent about 89,000 checks worth $250 each to dead and incarcerated people as part of the stimulus package meant to combat The Great Recession, The Atlantic reported.
A 2010 audit by the Office of the Inspector General and the Social Security Administration found 71,688 of those checks went to the deceased. But 41,000 checks issued at that time in error were returned, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Fox News’ Jack Durschlag contributed to this report.