- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 30, 2020

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that he’s still considering whether Republicans will work with House Democrats on the new coronavirus oversight committee.

Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, criticized the panel as unnecessary and a political tool for Democrats to try to increase their control over pandemic spending and to investigate President Trump.

“I’m not convinced that we’re going to participate in something like this,” he told reporters on a conference call. “It’s purely political.”

The committee was authorized last week on a party-line vote.

Mr. McCarthy said he would make his decision on whether his party will participate with the panel sometime next week and announce his picks if it does.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat and the select committee’s chairman, said Thursday he hopes to get the full oversight panel together in some capacity next week to work on issues that need “immediate attention” such as state policies on unemployment insurance and contact tracing.

“Remember we have to look at the essential workers beyond health care,” Mr. Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat said. “These are the people who find themselves losing out on unemployment insurance.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her party’s picks on Wednesday.
In addition to Mr. Clyburn, three other committee chairs with jurisdiction will join him on the panel: Reps. Carolyn Maloney of House Oversight, Maxine Waters of House Financial Services, and Nydia Velázquez of the House Small Business Committee.

Additionally, subcommittee chairs Reps. Bill Foster, Jamie Raskin and Andy Kim were selected.

The committee is intended to ensure there is no misuse in the $2.2 trillion allocated in the third coronavirus package in aid to small businesses, state and local governments, and large corporations all hard-hit by the pandemic.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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