Pelosi creates new House committee with subpoena for coronavirus surveillance

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she is setting up a new House committee to oversee the response to the coronavirus, which will have the power to assign information to the Trump administration.

“He would have a power of assignment which is secure. You don’t have to have a committee unless you have subpoena, “Pelosi, D-Calif, said on Thursday in a teleconference with reporters. “And we hope there will be cooperation because it is not some kind of investigation into the administration, it is about the whole [response]. “

Representative James Clyburn, D-S.C., Will chair the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. The committee will be bipartisan, she said, with Democrats and GOP members appointed.

Unlike the 9/11 style after-action committee to investigate missteps in the coronavirus response that representative Adam Schiff and others proposed, Pelosi said that this committee is designed to address “here and now” – in particular concerning the allocation of historic amounts of federal funds intended for economic recovery.

SCHIFF ALREADY ASKS FOR A 9/11 COMMISSION ON CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE; NUNES DESCRIBES ‘STUNT’

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

“With more than $ 2 trillion in emergency relief, we need to make sure that those dollars are spent with care and efficiency,” Pelosi said of the massive stimulus bill that Congress has already passed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Pelosi said the committee will investigate how the private sector spends its government funds and will press to ensure that the federal response rests on science and health experts. The committee will fight profit, political patronage and price gouging.

“The committee will be empowered to review all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus and to ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely and efficiently to save lives, provide relief and benefit our economy,” he said. she declared.

It was not immediately clear who the minority leader Kevin McCarthy of California could appoint the GOP leader of the committee or the extent of GOP participation in the committee that Pelosi presented as a “special bipartisan monitoring panel”.

Speaking in a separate call with journalists, McCarthy expressed concern over the appointment of Clyburn as head of the group, citing reports that he called the crisis an opportunity to “restructure” things depending on the vision of his party.

“The other concern I have from this point of view is in the bill that we passed, we put it on surveillance and it seems really redundant,” added McCarthy, citing various elements of surveillance in place. .

The house is expected to return to D.C. on April 20.

Caroline McKee of Fox News contributed to this report.

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