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Schiff unveils bill to create coronavirus commission to review US response

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocratic lawmakers not initially targeted in Trump DOJ leak probe: report Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight Schiff calls Iranian presidential election 'predetermined' MORE (D-Calif.) on Friday introduced legislation that would establish a commission to review the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Schiff said that it would be similar to the commission enacted after 9/11 that examined the circumstances leading up to the 2001 terrorist attacks and how government agencies handled the aftermath.

“After Pearl Harbor, September 11, and other momentous events in American history, independent, bipartisan commissions have been established to provide a complete accounting of what happened, what we did right and wrong, and what we can do to better protect the country in the future,” Schiff said in a statement.

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“It is clear that a comprehensive and authoritative review will be required, not as a political exercise to cast blame, but to learn from our mistakes to prevent history from tragically repeating itself," Schiff added.

Under the bill introduced by Schiff, who led the House impeachment process against President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE, the commission would be comprised of 10 members with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats. Current government officials would not be eligible to serve on the commission.

Members would be appointed by the president and congressional leaders of both parties in the House and Senate.

The commission would be ordered to "make a full and complete assessment and accounting of the preparedness of the federal government, state governments, local governments, and the private sector for the outbreak and spread of COVID–19 in the United States."

The commission would have subpoena power, hold public hearings and make recommendations to Congress and the executive branch for how the U.S. can be better prepared in the future for pandemics.

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But the commission would not be formally established until February, in the hopes that the U.S. will no longer be in the throes of the pandemic by that point.

Schiff's home-state senators, California Democratic Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinHeat wave sparks historically unseasonable wildfires in West Energized Trump probes pose problems for Biden Granholm defends US emissions targets: 'If we don't take action, where are we?' MORE and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRick Scott blocks Senate vote on top cyber nominee until Harris visits border Head of Border Patrol resigning from post Migrant children face alarming conditions in US shelter: BBC investigation MORE, will introduce companion legislation in the upper chamber.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Senators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Tim Cook called Pelosi to say tech antitrust bills were rushed MORE (D-Calif.) last week announced the creation of a select committee led by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) to oversee the distribution of funds for the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The committee will be empowered to examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus, and to assure that the taxpayer dollars are being wisely and efficiently spent to save lives, deliver relief and benefit our economy,” Pelosi said last week.

Unlike the commission proposed by Schiff, the panel led by Clyburn will not be an after-action review.

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“My understanding is that this committee will be forward looking, we are not going to be looking back on what the president may or may not have done back before this crisis hit. The crisis is with us,” Clyburn said on CNN’s “State of the Union" on Sunday.

Pelosi said that she supports a review after the pandemic but said that the committee led by Clyburn is needed to ensure that federal relief is distributed as intended.

"Is there need for an after-action review? Absolutely. And people are putting their proposals forward," Pelosi said. "But I don't want to wait for that, because we're in the action right now."