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 SchumerJacobin editor: Primarying Schumer would force him to fight Trump's SCOTUS nominee CNN's Toobin: Democrats are 'wimps' who won't 'have the guts' to add Supreme Court seats Republican senator says plans to confirm justice before election 'completely consistent with the precedent' 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 MnuchinShutdown clash looms after Democrats unveil spending bill Lawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal United Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid 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 TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid 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 McConnellGraham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally The Memo: Dems face balancing act on SCOTUS fight MORE (R-Ky.), Schumer, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally CDC causes new storm by pulling coronavirus guidance Overnight Health Care: CDC pulls revised guidance on coronavirus | Government watchdog finds supply shortages are harming US response | As virus pummels US, Europe sees its own spike MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy's Democratic challenger to launch first TV ad highlighting Air Force service as single mother Trump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - White House moves closer to Pelosi on virus relief bill MORE (R-Calif.) each get to select a member to the oversight committee.

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