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 McConnell'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally House to act on debt ceiling next week MORE (R-Ky.) on Friday tapped Sens. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoThe Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act is an industry game-changer The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill Wyden asks White House for details on jet fuel shortage amid wildfire season MORE (R-Idaho) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote 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 TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol 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 PelosiRepublicans caught in California's recall trap Raise the debt limit while starting to fix the budget   'Justice for J6' organizer calls on demonstrators to respect law enforcement MORE (D-Calif.). 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE (D-N.Y.) last week named Bharat Ramamurti, a former aide to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Mass.), to the panel, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol 'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot MORE (R-Calif.) tapped Rep. French HillJames (French) French HillBiden to speak at UN general assembly in person Lobbying world Top Democrat leads bipartisan trip to Middle East 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.