McCarthy doubtful Republicans will participate in coronavirus select committee

McCarthy doubtful Republicans will participate in coronavirus select committee
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy to offer bill withholding funds from states that don't protect statues McCarthy calls on Pelosi to condemn 'mob violence' after toppling of St. Junipero Serra statue The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus MORE (R-Calif.) said he hasn’t determined whether he will appoint any GOP lawmakers to the newly formed special committee overseeing coronavirus stimulus spending, telling reporters he will likely announce his decision next week. 

Republicans have been highly critical of the panel — which was recently approved along party lines — arguing it's politically motivated and unnecessary due to the other watchdog entities in place tasked with overseeing relief spending.

McCarthy said he sees it “as another impeachment committee” aimed at attacking the president, adding that while he supports the Congressional Oversight Commission established in the CARES Act — which he appointed Rep. French HillJames (French) French HillPPP application deadline should be extended and fixes made to program to keep recovery going Financial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response MORE (R-Ark.) to serve on earlier this month — he doesn’t believe the select committee is intended to conduct bipartisan oversight. 

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“I was clear with the Speaker, I'm not convinced yet that we even participate. We are going to participate in everything that is fair in the process that has the Senate and has the House, it has an equal weighting, that's why we have French Hill that reports back to us,” he told reporters during a press call on Thursday.  

McCarthy’s comments come just one day after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMilitary bases should not be renamed, we must move forward in the spirit of reconciliation Pelosi: Trump 'himself is a hoax' Women must continue to persist to rise as political leaders of America MORE (D-Calif.) announced six new Democratic members — Reps. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Mnuchin, Powell differ over how soon economy will recover | Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress | IRS chief pledges to work on tax code's role in racial wealth disparities Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress House approves statehood for DC in 232-180 vote MORE (Calif.), Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyMedia, entertainment groups press Congress to provide pandemic risk insurance New York City will not start counting mailed primary ballots until next week The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE (N.Y.), Nydia Velázquez (N.Y.), Bill FosterGeorge (Bill) William FosterFormer Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House's bad decisions have put US behind many other nations on COVID-19; Fears of virus reemergence intensify Overnight Defense: Army now willing to rename bases named after Confederates | Dems demand answers on 'unfathomable' nuke testing discussions | Pentagon confirms death of north African al Qaeda leader Top Democrats demand answers on Trump administration's 'unfathomable' consideration of nuclear testing MORE (Ill.), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinDemocrats start cracking down on masks for lawmakers Clyburn threatens to end in-person coronavirus committee hearings if Republicans won't wear masks The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE (Md.) and Andy Kim (N.J.) — to a panel slated to be led by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.).

However, the California Republican argued the Speaker’s selections for the panel indicate it is “purely political.” 

“I'll make the decision whether we're going to participate probably next week. Because this is not viewed as something that's working for the accountability of the American public. It's viewed as purely a political operation that they chose at a time, they chose who the chair was to restructure before they even could lay out what the mission is, they voted on it without even giving the public what the mission of this will be,” he said. 

“They weighted it to be one-sided. They didn't allow the Senate in as well. She can argue anything she wants, but it's purely political, even from the people that she appointed. So I'll let you all know what my decision is next week.”

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Democrats have strongly denied that the creation of the committee is politically motivated, arguing it’s needed to prevent fraud and abuse following the passage of massive levels in emergency funding.

“We are hoping the Republican Leader will name his members soon. We have been in communication. I told him a couple days ago who I was going to be appointing so he can make his own judgments about the committee,” Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday.

“But we want it to be as nonpartisan as possible, and very much a part of doing the right thing for the American people," she added. "And nobody does that better than our distinguished Chair of the Select Committee on the Coronavirus, Mr. Whip, the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Clyburn.”