Домой United States USA — Financial With no leader, commission overseeing virus relief struggles

With no leader, commission overseeing virus relief struggles

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven weeks after Congress unleashed more than $2 trillion to deal with the coronavirus crisis, an oversight commission intended to keep track…
WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven weeks after Congress unleashed more than $2 trillion to deal with the coronavirus crisis, an oversight commission intended to keep track of how the money is spent remains without a leader.
Four of the five members of the Congressional Oversight Commission have been appointed, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have not agreed on a chair, leaving the commission rudderless as the federal government pumps unprecedented sums into the economy.
Without a leader, the panel’s remaining members can still do some oversight work, but cannot hire staff or set up office space. The four members have not met as a group since the economic rescue law was passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in late March.
“If the commission is not functioning — which it is not — then there is no oversight” on a huge part of the economic rescue law, said John Coates, a professor of law and economics at Harvard Law School.
So far, “it’s a non-oversight, oversight commission,″ added Kimberly Wehle, a visiting professor at American University Law School. Lawmakers trying to oversee the spending law “are surging down the rapids without a raft,” she said.
Congress created the panel to watch over $500 billion in lending to distressed industries backed by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve. The Fed has said the money can be leveraged to offer more than $2 trillion in loans to U. S. companies.
But without a chairman, the panel’s activity has been reduced to tweets and letters by individual commissioners and a May 8 statement in which it pledged to publish a required report “soon.”
The failure by Pelosi and McConnell to agree on an oversight head is the latest example of a broken Congress, marked by partisanship and polarization.

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