McConnell rolls out GOP oversight efforts for coronavirus relief package

McConnell rolls out GOP oversight efforts for coronavirus relief package

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCalifornia to provide food industry employees with two weeks paid leave Trump faces roadblocks with threat to adjourn Congress On The Money: Small business loan program out of money | Lawmakers at impasse over new funds | Senate adjourns for week with no deal | Trump to leave decision on reopening economies with governors MORE (R-Ky.) on Friday tapped Sens. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoGOP senators urge Trump to protect insurers from state legislation Lobbying blitz yields wins for airlines, corporations, banks, unions Stimulus empowers Treasury to rescue airlines with billion in direct assistance MORE (R-Idaho) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyGOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy NSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general MORE (R-Pa.) to help conduct oversight on the recently-passed $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package.

McConnell said in a statement that Crapo, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, will coordinate oversight into the CARES Act, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Cohen to be released early from prison amid coronavirus pandemic: report Biden assembling White House transition team Top Republicans call on Trump to fund WHO pending director-general’s resignation MORE signed into law last month. Toomey will be on the five-member congressional commission overseeing the Trump administration’s implementation of the legislation. 

“The CARES Act is the biggest rescue package in the history of Congress,” said McConnell. “Appropriate, objective and nonpartisan oversight will be key to ensuring its dollars and programs find their mark.” 

McConnell added that he made the appointments after consulting with a slew of Senate committee chairs. 

Toomey will serve on the so-called Congressional Oversight Commission, a key aspect of the coronavirus relief package that will oversee $500 billion being distributed by the Treasury Department. 

“Senator Toomey is one of the sharpest members of the Senate,” McConnell said. “He is a leader on economics and finance and a key member of the Finance, Banking, and Budget Committees. The Commission will benefit greatly from his expertise.” 

Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate will each name one member of the panel, with the chair being selected in a joint decision by McConnell and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTop Republicans call on Trump to fund WHO pending director-general’s resignation Overnight Health Care: Trump guidelines on reopening to let governors make decision | Trump approach garners mixed reviews | Senate adjourns without deal on small business loans 14 things to know about coronavirus for today MORE (D-Calif.). 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerStacey Abrams throws support behind vote-by-mail efforts Former MSNBC host explains why UBI is a ventilator for U.S. economy in a crisis Hispanic Caucus demands protections for agricultural workers in next coronavirus bill MORE (D-N.Y.) last week named Bharat Ramamurti, a former aide to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenManchin to back Biden for president California to provide food industry employees with two weeks paid leave The Hill’s Campaign Report: 200 days to Election Day 2020 MORE (D-Mass.), to the panel, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTop Republicans call on Trump to fund WHO pending director-general’s resignation McCarthy digs in on his calls for clean spending increase for PPP The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Frist says Manhattan Project-like initiative necessary to fight virus; WH to release plan for easing lockdowns MORE (R-Calif.) tapped Rep. French HillJames (French) French HillPelosi to Democrats: ‘Are you ready?’ The Suburban Caucus: Solutions for America’s suburbs An unintended burden on small businesses MORE (R-Ark.) to serve on the committee.

Pelosi has yet to name her pick, and said Thursday that she is working with McConnell to work up a list of contenders for the committee’s chairmanship.

The House speaker has also indicted that she will establish a new select committee to conduct oversight of the CARES Act, though she has yet to name its members and would likely need a House vote to formally create the panel.

The Congressional Oversight Commission is one of three oversight mechanisms established in the relief package, though the other two measures have been thrust into controversy. 

Trump has nominated an inspector general for pandemic response to oversee the same $500 billion as the congressional panel, though the pick, a White House lawyer, has faced backlash from Democrats who claim he cannot be impartial.

Trump also demoted the Pentagon watchdog who had been named to lead a panel of current inspectors general and no replacement has been announced.