Sam Dewey, Legal Expert, Explains His Congressional Investigations Forecast

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By Jacob Maslow

A lot of national attention has been paid to congressional investigations, as the House’s special committee investigating the January 6 insurrection has recently held public hearings.

Congressional investigations occur all the time, though, attorney Sam Dewey says, and there’s a lot upcoming on the docket. Here are a few things that Congress could investigate in the coming months.

COVID-19 Relief Funds

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government appropriated trillions of dollars to relief programs meant to support American industries, individual businesses, states, and individuals. This funding was dispersed over six different spending bills, starting with the CARES Act passed in the spring of 2020.

Included in that, and the other spending bills were funding that gave Americans direct stimulus checks and loans to businesses that could turn into grants to help them stay afloat.

Congressional investigations are already taking place for how some of this money was spent, specifically on the Paycheck Protection Program. In September 2020, the Select Subcommittee appointed to investigate the PPP found it may have given out more than $4 billion that ended up going to abuse, waste, and fraud.

In the coming months, this investigation — and others like it — could ramp up. The Department of Justice has also created a director who will head fraud enforcement for COVID-19.

Infrastructure Deal

Late last year, a bipartisan infrastructure package was struck, officially called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The roughly $1.2 trillion package included about $550 billion of new money dedicated to various infrastructure improvements throughout the country.

As the bill was being debated, and even after it passed, some lawmakers criticized that there weren’t independent oversight structures to ensure the funds were correctly allocated.

As Sam Dewey points out, whenever a large amount of money is allocated at the federal level, there are plenty of opportunities for fraud and misuse. As the money from the infrastructure bill begins to be allocated, expect various congressional committees to have their eyes peeled for any situation that requires a full investigation.

Build Back Better

Despite not making any progress thus far, the Biden administration is still trying to forge ahead with components of the president’s signature Build Back Better spending bill. The White House couldn’t garner enough support for the multi-trillion-dollar package initially, but it’s possible some components of the bill could end up being passed into law.

If that happens, some congressional committees could likely take an interest in some of the spending of the funding. This could prove especially true if the Republican Party gains control of either chamber of Congress following the midterm elections later this year.

As mentioned before, any spending package that involves a large amount of money is almost always a target for fraud and abuse and a potential congressional investigation.

About Sam Dewey

Sam Dewey is a successful lawyer and former Senior Counsel to the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and Chief Investigator and Counsel to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Mr Dewey specializes in: (1) white collar investigations, compliance, and litigation; (2) regulatory compliance and litigation; and (3) complex public policy matters. Within these fields Mr. Dewey is considered an expert in Congressional investigations and attendant matters. Mr. Dewey has a BA in Political Science, a JD from Harvard, and is admitted to practice law in Washington, DC, and Maryland.

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