The Coronavirus crisis is far from past, but President Donald Trump has already been upending relief efforts. Besides recently firing the inspector general who’d been tasked with overseeing the distribution of the huge sums of money recently approved to help struggling businesses around the country, he’s also insisted that his administration wants to block an official from reporting directly to Congress in the event of the White House refusing to comply with their attempts to procure information. This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) insisted that Trump’s affronts against oversight directly counter the will of the American people as the Coronavirus rages on.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 4, 2020
In short, the Trump administration appears to be gearing up for at least attempting to distribute huge sums of money without Congressional oversight. Just this week, reporting emerged that the Coronavirus relief legislation itself even eliminated open meetings requirements for the Federal Reserve Bank, meaning they could distribute trillions of dollars in loans without comprehensive records of their work.
The President has approached the coronavirus crisis as the perfect occasion to ramp up his push to consolidate power and curb oversight. He’s going to continue these attacks on independent oversight as long as he feels that there is cover to do so.https://t.co/aZqMquCCIz
— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) April 9, 2020
‘They want their checks. They want their direct payments, they want their unemployment checks, they want their loans from the bank that hopefully will be forgiven with performance, and they do not want taxpayer money being used by big industries that are getting big sums of money to be used for buybacks, dividends, bonuses — that angers them, that has angered them for awhile… we want to make sure that [oversight] is enforced, and right now, the president is taking action to undermine the oversight of the legislation — most unfortunate.’
Speaker Pelosi: "The president is taking action to undermine the oversight of the legislation — most unfortunate." pic.twitter.com/Hd6HRBpizT
— The Hill (@thehill) April 9, 2020
Trump has consistently dismissed even the slightest attempts at oversight of his administration as a “witch hunt,” and this situation has proven no different.
Yet, Democrats are continuing — Pelosi herself has already formed an entirely new House committee for overseeing Coronavirus-related issues, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has even suggested that a 9/11 style independent investigative commission would be in order to look at the Trump administration’s Coronavirus response after the storm passes.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 5, 2020