House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is doing everything in her power to dismantle Donald Trump’s coronavirus response. She announced in early April plans to launch a special House oversight committee to scrutinize his actions in regard to the pandemic.
On Thursday, Pelosi added six Democrats to the panel and not a single Republican. Pelosi said that she wants the panel to mimic the Truman Committee — which was a bipartisan panel launched to curtail profiteering during WWII — but her choice of committee members says otherwise.
Pelosi shows her hand
When Pelosi first announced her intention to launch the oversight committee on April 2, she was met with resistance from the GOP, with many verbalizing concerns that Democrat leadership would use the committee as a launchpad for a second impeachment push.
Pelosi said at the time that the purpose of the panel is to “examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus and ensure the taxpayer’s dollars are being wisely and efficiently spent.”
She hedged later on that the panel is meant to “root out waste, fraud, and abuse; it will protect against price-gauging, profiteering, and political favoritism,” seeming to indicate that the panel’s purpose is to oversee the financial aspect of the coronavirus response.
However, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), whom Pelosi appointed as the committee’s chair, said only days after her initial announcement that Donald Trump’s decision to fire intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson was “one of the reasons speaker Pelosi decided that this committee was necessary.”
Democrats have sent mixed messages about the committee from the start, insisting that it simply provides oversight to prevent fraud and profiteering, while using every opportunity to attack what appear to be unrelated actions on the part of Trump.
“Instead of looking for innovative ways to help the American people, Speaker Pelosi has chosen to pursue ‘impeachment 2.0’ with a partisan and unnecessary oversight committee,” A spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told the Hill.
“The roster the Speaker has chosen makes clear that this is not an honest effort at transparency and accountability, but rather another attempt to politically damage the Trump administration.”
House stays home
Pelosi has been working hard to make moves towards ramping up “oversight” of Donald Trump, but still refuses to reconvene the House as millions of Americans are facing the prospect of food shortages and unemployment rates unheard of since the Great Depression.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise slammed Pelosi’s decision to delay the House’s return yet another week on Monday. “For whatever reason, Speaker Pelosi and her majority want to just sit back in San Francisco or wherever else they’re at and write bills in secret,” he told Breitbart News, continuing to say that Congress’s priority should be the “full, safe recovery and reopening of our economy” and “leading by example.”
The Senate, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will reconvene next week. “We’ll practice proper safeguards in the wake of this and work safely in the Senate but get back to business,” McConnell said. “We’re not going to sit on the sidelines during this period.”