FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 30, 2020
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) continued his work to hold the federal government accountable for its emergency spending by introducing S. 4878, the Stopping Improper Payments to Foreigners Act.
Multiple media outlets have reported on the federal government sending thousands of Economic Impact Payments to foreign nationals that were ineligible to receive the money. Dr. Paul’s legislation would restore Congress’ intent to send the stimulus checks only to U.S. citizens or those having resident status when the CARES Act was passed, help recover potentially millions of dollars, and help prevent the checks from being sent to foreign nationals who made inadvertent mistakes in filing their tax forms.
“Before the federal government even considers putting trillions more in debt on the American people’s backs during a pandemic, it owes it to them to at the very least do everything in its power to make sure it correctly spends what it has already authorized,” said Dr. Paul.
In June, the U.S. Senate passed Dr. Paul’s Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act (S. 4104), which would require the U.S. Treasury to use Social Security data to reclaim COVID stimulus money that was sent to dead people. The legislation, introduced in response to a GAO report and currently awaiting action in the U.S. House of Representatives, also provides a process to stop such payments in the future.
You can read S. 4878 HERE.
• Brings tax law and immigration law into concert by excluding those holding nonimmigrant visas when the CARES Act was passed from stimulus check eligibility, with the exception of spouses of members of the Armed Services. This affirms congressional intent on the matter.
• Ensures the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reviews all 1040 forms used to determine eligibility for stimulus checks under the CARES Act to certify those who improperly received stimulus checks.
• Allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to share its list of nonimmigrant visa holders, and whether or not they were subsequently issued and had a green card at the time CARES was passed, with the IRS to help it scrub 1040s, information the IRS can only use for this purpose.
• Facilitates the sharing of the IRS’s findings with DHS so that DHS can condition the issuance or renewal of any visa to any individual identified by the IRS on their paying back the money they received from American taxpayers.
– Under the bill, IRS certification does not make somebody ineligible for a visa, even if the visa applicant finds out about the certification after they have begun the visa process. The only way it would prevent anyone from receiving a visa is if they have actively refused to repay the stimulus check they received from the American taxpayer after being made aware of the issue and presented with an opportunity to do so.