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Hoyer Sends Letter to Secretary Mnuchin to Suggest Combining Two Technology Proposals in Final COVID-19 Relief Agreement

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin today proposing to combine the two major technology modernization policies included in the Heroes Act and Senate Republicans’ COVID-19 bill and include the one policy provision in the final COVID-19 package.  The Heroes Act provided $1 billion for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF). The Senate GOP bill provided $2 billion for technology upgrades, specifically for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In his letter, Leader Hoyer proposes that the final package include $2 billion for the TMF to be directed toward the IRS.  

"As you know first-hand from executing previous COVID-19 relief measures at the Treasury Department, our federal government technology systems are a major impediment to delivering relief to the American public.  Tens of millions of Americans have not yet received their direct payments as stipulated under the CARES Act; the Small Business Administration’s system to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications repeatedly crashed; and agencies across the government have struggled to implement remote work to keep federal employees safe while continuing vital functions during the coronavirus crisis," wrote Leader Hoyer. "...I hope you will consider this suggestion, which would go a long way toward eliminating barriers to the effective implementation of our COVID-19 relief programs and help modernize government systems more broadly."

To read Hoyer’s letter in full, click here or see below.   

July 31, 2020

 

The Hon. Steven T. Mnuchin Secretary U.S. Department of the Treasury 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20220

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As you know first-hand from executing previous COVID-19 relief measures at the Treasury Department, our federal government technology systems are a major impediment to delivering relief to the American public.  Tens of millions of Americans have not yet received their direct payments as stipulated under the CARES Act; the Small Business Administration’s system to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications repeatedly crashed; and agencies across the government have struggled to implement remote work to keep federal employees safe while continuing vital functions during the coronavirus crisis.  That is why House Democrats included $1 billion in the Heroes Act, which we passed on May 15, for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), and it is why the Trump Administration and Senate Republicans included $2 billion for technology upgrades specifically for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the legislative package proposed on July 27. 

I write to suggest that we combine those proposals – $2 billion for the TMF that is specifically directed toward the IRS modernization project.  Since the funds will be administered through the TMF, the long-term cost savings resulting from the IRS upgrades would be reinvested through the TMF's competitive revolving fund model into other urgently needed federal technology upgrades, including the Treasury Department, the Small Business Administration, and other agencies. That TMF model has already proven effective through three years of success.

I hope you will consider this suggestion, which would go a long way toward eliminating barriers to the effective implementation of our COVID-19 relief programs and help modernize government systems more broadly.  The American people deserve a government possessing the latest technology that enables it to serve them to the highest level of efficiency and ability.  I hope to hear from you regarding this proposal and look forward to working with you to bring it to fruition.

Sincerely yours,

STENY H. HOYER House Majority Leader

 

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