Schumer praises choice of Defense inspector general to oversee corporate lending fund

Schumer praises choice of Defense inspector general to oversee corporate lending fund
© Bonnie Cash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck Schumer84 mayors call for immigration to be included in reconciliation Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday praised the choice of Department of Defense acting Inspector General Glenn Fine to head the oversight of a $454 billion corporate lending facility that Democrats have panned as a corporate “slush fund.”

“Glenn Fine has a good reputation as a tough federal prosecutor and former [Department of Justice] Inspector General, and must exercise his full oversight authority to ensure that the Trump administration implements the CARES Act as intended,” Schumer said in a statement.

The $2 trillion CARES Act that Congress passed last week to respond to the coronavirus crisis gives Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election Democrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer MORE and the Federal Reserve broad authority to make loans and set up credit facilities for a range of corporations.

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Democrats insisted on setting up an inspector general and a five-member congressional oversight committee to review lending and credit decisions, sparking friction with the administration.

Trump declared in a signing statement Friday that he would supervise the inspector general’s report to Congress on how the $454 billion corporate rescue fund is used. 

Schumer warned the administration Monday that all decisions would be thoroughly vetted. 

“Democrats built robust, multilayered accountability and transparency mechanisms in the CARES Act to ensure taxpayer funds are properly used to protect workers and the American people. The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee is critical to holding President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE and his administration accountable to the letter and spirit of the law,” he said in his statement.

Congressional leaders also need to pick the members of the congressional oversight panel, which some Republicans say is duplicative of the regular oversight duties of the Senate and House.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ky.), Schumer, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing Five things to watch as Jan. 6 panel begins its work MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel MORE (R-Calif.) each get to select a member to the oversight committee.

McConnell and Schumer must agree on appointing the panel’s chairman.