Treasury sets up office to oversee implementation of recovery programs

The Treasury Department is establishing an Office of Recovery Programs to lead the agency’s implementation of economic relief measures from three massive congressional coronavirus relief bills.

The office, which will be led by Jacob Leibenluft, will mainly focus on establishing and administering the Treasury programs to support an equitable and swift recovery from the pandemic. It will work closely with Gene Sperling, the White House American Rescue Plan coordinator.

“A new, cohesive model for recovery program implementation at Treasury will help get relief distributed quickly and into the hands of those who need it most,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo.

The office will oversee programs from the $2 trillion relief package from March 2020, the $900 billion deal from December and the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion rescue act that President Joe Biden signed last month. They include some $420 billion in programs from Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

The measures include: the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, Emergency Rental Assistance, the Homeowner Assistance Fund, the State Small Business Credit Initiative, the Coronavirus Relief Fund and the Airline and National Security Loan Program.

The implementation of programs disbursed through the tax code, including stimulus payments and the enhanced child tax credit, will continue to be led by other agencies.

Equity will be a main focus of the office, particularly ensuring that that those who are traditionally left out of government programs and the financial system receive aid, a Treasury official said. It will make sure processes are created to “encourage the most equitable distribution possible because that may not naturally happen without conscious effort.”

“So not only do we respond to the pandemic, but we have a recovery that builds a more equitable economy that came before it,” the official said. “That is at the center of everything we are doing here.”