Pelosi Flexes Her Muscles; Creates a New Coronavirus Oversight Committee in the House

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., holds up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress that she tore up on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. At left Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a teleconference call with reporters on Thursday to announce the creation of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which she said would be a “special bipartisan oversight panel.” As opposed to Adam Schiff’s “9/11 style commission” to review the Trump administration’s response to the crisis, Pelosi told reporters this new committee will deal with the “here and now.”

She explained that, “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. With over $2 trillion in emergency relief, we need to ensure those dollars are spent carefully and effectively.”

Asked if it would have subpoena power, she replied, “It would have subpoena power that’s for sure. It’s no use having a committee unless you have subpoena power. 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].”

I’m sure President Trump will ignore those subpoenas just as he has ignored House subpoenas in the past, as he should.

Fox News reports:

Pelosi compared the new committee to the Senate bipartisan committee chaired by then-Sen. Harry Truman in 1941 to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in defense spending in the early days of World War II.

Pelosi said the committee will investigate how the private sector is spending its government funds and press to ensure the federal response is based on science and health experts. The committee will fight against profiteering, political favoritism and price gouging.


The new committee will be chaired by House Majority whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC). During a conference call with the Democratic caucus about the Coronavirus Relief bill (prior to its passage in the Senate) , Clyburn was quoted as saying, “This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke to reporters separately and said he is concerned about Clyburn chairing the committee, especially after his recently leaked remark.

He told reporters, “The other concern that I have from this standpoint is inside the bill that we passed, we did put in oversight and it seems really redundant.”

Oversight by a group of Inspector Generals is already built into the law.

Here we go again.


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