Schumer names former Warren staffer to coronavirus funding oversight board

Schumer names former Warren staffer to coronavirus funding oversight board
© Bonnie Cash

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Monday that he will name Bharat Ramamurti, a former aide to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCOVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick MORE (D-Mass.), to serve on a five-person board that will oversee corporate loans under the coronavirus relief package.

Schumer, talking to reporters on a conference call, said the former Warren staffer had shown that he was "ferocious in his desire to protect the public from abuse." 

"He's had a great deal of experience in these areas. He understands how finance works. ... He has a great nose for figuring out when there's wrongdoing," Schumer told reporters.  

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Schumer noted that Ramamurti previously worked as Warren's senior counsel for banking and economics and also worked as an economic adviser for her 2020 presidential campaign. 

Lawmakers established the five-person congressional oversight commission as part of their deal on the massive $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress late last month. The panel is charged with monitoring the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve's handling of the $500 billion in aid to impacted industries like airlines included in the bill. 

According to the bill, each of the four congressional leaders will appoint one member. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation COVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks MORE (R-Ky.) would then jointly appoint the fifth member. 

No other appointment announcements have yet been made.

Pelosi noted on Friday that she and McConnell spoke late last week about the oversight commission.  

"I spoke to Mitch about that because he and I have to agree on who that fifth person is. And we set sort of our criteria as to how that would be. He gave me a name, not a name but an impression about who he might do for his one. So we've had those conversations," she said.