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Pelosi appoints Rep. Donna Shalala to coronavirus oversight panel

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck Pelosi challenger calls delay on COVID-19 relief bill the 'privilege of politics' MORE (D-Calif.) tapped Florida Rep. Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaTrump, Biden final arguments at opposite ends on COVID-19 Britain to infect healthy individuals with coronavirus for vaccine trials 'Nodding Woman' behind Trump at town hall is former House candidate MORE (D) to serve on the five-member congressional commission overseeing the Trump administration’s implementation of the latest $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Shalala was elected to her seat in the Democratic wave in 2018, but before that served as Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary under President Clinton, experience Pelosi said made her well-suited to serve on the commission.

“Congresswoman Donna Shalala is a deeply respected and highly accomplished leader in the Congress and country, who has for decades led the fight to defend the health and economic security of the American people at the highest levels of government,” Pelosi said in a statement Friday night.

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“Her leadership as Secretary of Health and Human Services will serve the American people extremely well, as she works to ensure that this historic coronavirus relief package is being used wisely and efficiently to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people, and not be exploited by profiteers and price-gougers," she continued.

Shalala will serve on the so-called Congressional Oversight Commission, which was formed under the coronavirus relief package and will oversee $500 billion being distributed by the Treasury Department.

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 Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck Lawmakers say infrastructure efforts are falling victim to deepening partisan divide MORE (R-Ky.).

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Lewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' MORE (D-N.Y.) last week named Bharat Ramamurti, a former aide to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren has expressed interest in being Biden's Treasury secretary: report The Democrats' 50 state strategy never reached rural America What a Biden administration should look like MORE (D-Mass.), to the panel, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy urges networks not to call presidential race until 'every polling center has closed' House Republicans slated to hold leadership election on Nov. 17 Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire MORE (R-Calif.) tapped Rep. French HillJames (French) French HillRepublican fears grow over rising Democratic tide The use and abuse of the IMF in the fight against COVID-19 Lawmakers ask Pelosi, McConnell to diversify coronavirus relief oversight panel MORE (R-Ark.) to serve on the committee. McConnell named Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyAppeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy MORE (R-Penn.) to the committee Friday. 

Pelosi said Thursday she is still working with McConnell to hammer out a shortlist of contenders for the committee’s chair. 

Pelosi 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. 

Oversight of the relief package has been thrust into uncertainty after Trump’s nomination of a White House lawyer to serve as a watchdog over the same $500 billion in Treasury funds faced backlash from Democrats over claims he cannot be impartial and the president demoted the head of a panel of current inspectors general who oversee the package.