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Jayapal Calls on Biden to Fire Trump-Appointed Social Security Officials Who Delayed Covid Relief

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) called on President Joe Biden to fire two Trump-appointed Social Security Administration officials––SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul and Deputy Commissioner David Black––after House Democrats accused them of “sabotaging” the effort to distribute direct coronavirus relief payments to tens of millions of seniors and people with disabilities.

“It is appalling and outrageous that holdovers from the Trump Administration at the Social Security Administration have delayed the delivery of survival checks to 30 million Americans, including veterans, seniors, and people living with disabilities. This is not a game – for millions of people, these checks are a lifeline to put food on the table, refill prescriptions, and put gas in the car,” Jayapal said

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in a statement.

“The IRS first sought data for automatic payments from the SSA two weeks prior to the signing of the American Rescue Plan on March 11th – but the SSA refused to provide those files until March 25th after the House Ways & Means Committee issued an ultimatum,” she continued. “In delaying these payments, Commissioner Saul and Deputy Commissioner Black have shown a profound contempt for the American people and are unfit to continue to serve in their roles at the Social Security Administration. The American people should be able to trust that the senior leadership of the Social Security Administration will advocate on their behalf – not needlessly and cruelly obstruct the delivery of survival checks. Commissioner Saul and Deputy Commissioner Black should be removed from their positions immediately.”

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In a letter addressed to SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul last week, Democrats said they were writing “regarding the nearly 30 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries who are still awaiting their economic impact payments (EIPs).”

“We understand that these beneficiaries are waiting because the Social Security Administration (SSA) has not sent the necessary payment files to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),” they continued, later writing, “We demand that you immediately provide the IRS with this information by tomorrow, March 25, 2021.”

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The SSA failed to meet the deadline. Saul blamed the delay on Congress.

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