The Biden Administration is ready to admit that the COVID emergency is finally over. They are set to end the state of emergency over COVID in May of this year. However, this does not mean that the Republicans will ignore some of the issues that need to be investigated related to COVID relief. Fox News reports that Sens. Rand Paul and Joni Ernst are launching an investigation into what they say is at least $5.4 billion in small business loan fraud within the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). They want to ensure that anyone who might have tried to take advantage of the advantaged loans that the government offered at the time cannot get away with it. The Senators say that their investigation comes as the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee stated that up to $5.4 billion might have been lent out to "fraudsters." Fox News Digital reported that Senators Paul and Ernst wrote a joint letter that read in part: "On January 30, 2023, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) released a fraud alert detailing widespread fraud of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)." The letter continued: "Specifically, PRAC reviewed over 33 million applications and discovered 221,427 applications used fraudulent social security numbers. Of those, 69,323 applications were issued EIDL and PPP loans, totaling over $5.4 billion in funds dispensed to fraudsters." They are honing in specifically on 70,000 loans issued with automated or manual checks. They are specifically concerned about these loans as they might have been made to those who did not qualify for loans under the program's provisions. Gene Sperling, White House American Rescue Plan coordinator, told Fox News Digital the following about it: "This report by the Pandemic Responsibility Accountability Committee (PRAC) demonstrates and documents both the significant fraud and identity theft that occurred under the prior Administration due to the lack of basic anti-fraud controls, as well as how consequential were the Biden Administration quick actions to reinstate strong anti-abuse measures in these emergency small business programs." This investigation is underway as the Biden White House seeks to wind down the COVID emergency designation.