House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced she is creating a bipartisan select committee on the coronavirus.
She tapped Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) to lead the committee.
The speaker told reporters during a conference call on Thursday that “the panel will root out waste, fraud and abuse. It will protect against price-gauging, profiteering and political favoritism … The House select committee on the coronavirus will be bipartisan and have an expert staff.” She likened the committee to the one created to examine Pearl Harbor.
Pelosi noted in the call that she was a member of the House commission on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
She added that the select committee “is about the here and now. Right now, we just have to work together to get through this, but as we do we don’t want to make more mistakes,” adding that she heard Dr. Anthony Fauci mention that the coronavirus might come back if Americans are not vigilant.
The speaker said that the committee will have subpoena power, explaining, “It’s no use having a committee unless you have subpoena power. And we would hope that there would be cooperation because this is not a kind of investigation of the administration.”
“We want to make sure there are not exploiters out there. One of the cabinet officers told me yesterday that there were people who were pretending that they had ventilators or masks and they didn’t — no, it was masks — they didn’t have them but they were arbitraging it. So, again, where there’s money, there’s also frequently mischief and we want to make sure that the funds that are put out there are done so with the conditions that we had in the legislation.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says that he opposes the committee, calling it “really redundant.”
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy R-CA expresses opposition to Pelosi creating 'select committee' to oversee Coronavirus aid.— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) April 2, 2020
McCarthy doesn't like selection of Clyburn to chair, or overall goal. "This seems really redundant."
Pelosi’s announcement comes a day after Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called for a nonpartisan committee to review the response to the coronavirus pandemic — though Schiff proposed a committee that would be formed after the pandemic has subsided.