McConnell rolls out GOP oversight efforts for coronavirus relief package

McConnell rolls out GOP oversight efforts for coronavirus relief package
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Americans debate life under COVID-19 risks The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies MORE (R-Ky.) on Friday tapped Sens. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoOn The Money: House Democrats unveil trillion coronavirus relief package | SCOTUS divided in Trump financial records case | Fed under pressure to speed up, expand emergency loans Fed faces bipartisan pressure to speed up, expand emergency loans Trump pick for pandemic response watchdog pledges independence amid Democratic skepticism MORE (R-Idaho) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyGOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy NSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general MORE (R-Pa.) to help conduct oversight on the recently-passed $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package.

McConnell said in a statement that Crapo, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, will coordinate oversight into the CARES Act, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 MORE signed into law last month. Toomey will be on the five-member congressional commission overseeing the Trump administration’s implementation of the legislation. 

“The CARES Act is the biggest rescue package in the history of Congress,” said McConnell. “Appropriate, objective and nonpartisan oversight will be key to ensuring its dollars and programs find their mark.” 

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McConnell added that he made the appointments after consulting with a slew of Senate committee chairs. 

Toomey will serve on the so-called Congressional Oversight Commission, a key aspect of the coronavirus relief package that will oversee $500 billion being distributed by the Treasury Department. 

“Senator Toomey is one of the sharpest members of the Senate,” McConnell said. “He is a leader on economics and finance and a key member of the Finance, Banking, and Budget Committees. The Commission will benefit greatly from his expertise.” 

Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate will each name one member of the panel, with the chair being selected in a joint decision by McConnell and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBottom line This week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting Women suffering steeper job losses in COVID-19 economy MORE (D-Calif.). 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' Senate Democrats call on Trump administration to let Planned Parenthood centers keep PPP loans MORE (D-N.Y.) last week named Bharat Ramamurti, a former aide to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPentagon charts its own course on COVID-19, risking Trump's ire Warren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-Mass.), to the panel, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy yanks endorsement of California candidate over social media posts Trump, GOP go all-in on anti-China strategy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead MORE (R-Calif.) tapped Rep. French HillJames (French) French HillTreasury has not disbursed B in airline support: oversight panel On The Money: Black workers may face disproportionate COVID-19 risk | Trump pick for pandemic response watchdog vows independence | Stocks inch higher as oil prices rise Fed should be 'flexible' in response to coronavirus crisis, says oversight commission member MORE (R-Ark.) to serve on the committee.

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Pelosi has yet to name her pick, and said Thursday that she is working with McConnell to work up a list of contenders for the committee’s chairmanship.

The House speaker has also indicted that she will establish a new select committee to conduct oversight of the CARES Act, though she has yet to name its members and would likely need a House vote to formally create the panel.

The Congressional Oversight Commission is one of three oversight mechanisms established in the relief package, though the other two measures have been thrust into controversy. 

Trump has nominated an inspector general for pandemic response to oversee the same $500 billion as the congressional panel, though the pick, a White House lawyer, has faced backlash from Democrats who claim he cannot be impartial.

Trump also demoted the Pentagon watchdog who had been named to lead a panel of current inspectors general and no replacement has been announced.