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Pelosi appoints Rep. Donna Shalala to coronavirus oversight panel

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Budget Committee chair pledges to raise minimum wage: 'Hold me to it' Capitol review to recommend adding more fencing, 1,000 officers: report MORE (D-Calif.) tapped Florida Rep. Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaIt's time for a second Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health Biden's new challenge: Holding Trump accountable Trump, Florida complicate Biden approach to Cuba 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 McConnellTrump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars Hawley gets boisterous ovation at CPAC for Electoral College objection   Why Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now MORE (R-Ky.).

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill Budowsky: Cruz goes to Cancun, AOC goes to Texas MORE (D-N.Y.) last week named Bharat Ramamurti, a former aide to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenExclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren Minimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE (D-Mass.), to the panel, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Trump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars McCarthy: No commitment from Trump to not target Republicans MORE (R-Calif.) tapped Rep. French HillJames (French) French HillRepublicans rally to keep Cheney in power Oversight committee member questions Treasury Department's approval of 0M loan to shipping firm House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit MORE (R-Ark.) to serve on the committee. McConnell named Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyPhilly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote Toomey on Trump vote: 'His betrayal of the Constitution' required conviction 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.