Nearly three years after criminals first set their sights on the government’s generous coronavirus aid programs, President Biden on Thursday called on Congress to approve $1.6 billion to combat fraud, hoping to empower federal prosecutors and prevent such historic theft from targeting taxpayer money again.

The new request for funds foreshadows the years of costly and complicated work now ahead of Washington, after malicious actors set their sights on the more than $5 trillion that lawmakers intended for workers, families and businesses amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

But the push from the White House could still face familiar political obstacles on Capitol Hill. Seeking to punish criminals and secure new savings at a moment of rising deficits, lawmakers long have expressed alarm about the vast sums stolen during the pandemic – yet they have done little to address the root causes of the problem.

Beginning in March 2020, Democrats and Republicans banded together to adopt a series of laws that injected trillions of dollars into the economy. The unprecedented aid provided extra weekly checks to unemployed workers; offered easy, forgivable loans to cash-starved businesses; and guaranteed urgently needed money for hospitals, schools and local governments under immense financial strain.... Read More: Washington Post