House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday she is creating a new bipartisan House committee to oversee the distribution of over $2 trillion in coronavirus relief funds.
The House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis will have subpoena power to seek information from the Trump administration, Fox News reported.
“And we would hope that there would be cooperation because this is not a kind of an investigation of the administration, it’s about the whole [response].”
According to Pelosi, the committee would oversee the three bills passed by Congress to address the pandemic and any future legislation, Politico reported.
“Congress has taken an important step in meeting this crisis by passing three bills with over $2 trillion in emergency relief. We need to ensure those dollars are spent carefully and effectively,” she said.
Some representatives, like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, have proposed a 9/11 style after-action committee to investigate alleged missteps in the coronavirus response, but Pelosi said the committee she is proposing would address the “here and now.”
House Majority Whip James Clyburn will chair the bipartisan committee, which will also have Democrats and GOP members appointed to it, according to Politico.
The committee will also investigate how the private sector is spending the government funds it receives and fight against political favoritism and price gouging.
“Where there’s money, there’s also frequently mischief,” Pelosi said.
“The committee will be empowered to examine all aspects of the federal response to coronavirus, and to assure that the taxpayers’ dollars are being wisely and efficiently spent to save lives, deliver relief and benefit our economy.”
White House spokesman Steven Groves responded to the announcement, telling CNBC that President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force “are committing 100% of their time, energy, and resources to ending the current crisis.”
He added that “any attempt to politicize the crisis even before it has ended is dangerous.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters that the panel was unnecessary because there are oversight mechanisms built into the relief packages.
As of Thursday morning, there were 234,462 cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
There have been 5,607 fatalities from the disease and 8,849 recoveries.
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