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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFederal judges should be allowed to be Federalist Society members Warren condemns 'horrific' Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests, other senators chime in VA hospitals mostly drop hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment 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 Terner MnuchinHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues On The Money: Senate Dems pump brakes on new stimulus checks | Trump officials sued over tax refunds | Fed to soon open small-business lending program Schumer slams Trump's Rose Garden briefing on China as 'pathetic' 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 John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points 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 McConnellFor city parks: Pass the Great American Outdoors Act now US ill-prepared for coronavirus-fueled mental health crisis Schumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe MORE (R-Ky.), Schumer, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi Sunday shows preview: Leaders weigh in as country erupts in protest over George Floyd death 5 things to know about US-China tensions over Hong Kong Pelosi calls Trump's decision to withdraw US from WHO 'an act of extraordinary senselessness' MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers House punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate Rep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman MORE (R-Calif.) each get to select a member to the oversight committee.

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