House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Thursday the formation of a new bipartisan House select committee that will oversee the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pelosi told reporters during a conference call Thursday that the committee will be chaired by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC). She added that the bipartisan committee will “ensure” that the $2 trillion coronavirus disaster relief package will be “spent carefully and effectively.”
After acknowledging that the pandemic has “battered” the economy with millions of Americans finding themselves unemployed, Pelosi said that the committee’s purpose is to “root out waste, fraud and abuse” and “protect against price-gouging, profiteering and political favoritism.”
Pelosi also confirmed that the committee would have subpoena power and that she hopes for cooperation.
“This is not an investigation of the administration,” Pelosi said. “There’s things that are so new and we want to make sure that there’s not exploiters out there.”
When asked whether she supports the bipartisan 9/11-style commission that Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) proposed that will be in charge of producing a “full and complete accounting” of the nation’s preparedness and response to COVID-19, Pelosi replied that her focus is on the “here and now.”
Pelosi’s latest remarks come the same day that unemployment claims reached a record 6.6 million in the last week ending on March 28, doubling the number of claims in the previous week amid the COVID-19 outbreak.