Pelosi forms select committee on spending of coronavirus stimulus money

House Speaker also backs independent 9/11 style commission for coronavirus ‘after action review’

Last Updated:
May 29, 2020 - 7:09pm

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday announced the creation of a "bipartisan select committee on the coronavirus" to oversee the implementation of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

"This 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," Pelosi told reporters during a conference call. "Let's go forward and hold everybody accountable for decisions that are made in the here and now as to how we go forward."

Pelosi said the congressional committee would have subpoena power and exercise oversight of the federal government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Congressional Democrats – as part of their deal with the White House to support the recently signed, $2.2 trillion package –required some congressional oversight of the administration's spending of the money. 

However, the president signaled in a statement attached to his signing of the measure that he wouldn't comply with some of the congressional oversight requirements, citing separation of powers.

Critics argued after Trump's decision that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had failed to honor his deal with Capitol Hill Democrats.

Pelosi, a California Democrat, on Thursday also expressed support for establishing a 9/11-style independent commission to investigate the start of the COVID-19 outbreak and the federal government's response. The commission has been proposed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

"I'm a big supporter of after action review," said Pelosi, who was a member of the 9/11 commission. "I see the value of that. I think right now, I respect some of the, at least two of our chairman who have been suggesting that is something we should discuss. It has to be bipartisan." 

She also said that "anything that affects this many people in our country" and has resulted in trillions of dollars being spent should be subject to "after action review" in a bipartisan way.

"Not to point fingers, but to make sure it doesn't happen again in the matter in which it happened, hopefully not at all," Pelosi said.