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house Bill H. Res. 935

Should the House Establish a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis?

Argument in favor

There is no such thing as too much oversight, and this House select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis will ensure that the trillions of dollars appropriated by Congress to address the pandemic are free of waste, fraud, and abuse. This select subcommittee will have seven Democratic members and five Republican members to ensure that it is relatively bipartisan despite the election year politics at play.

jimK's Opinion
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04/23/2020
Abso-friggen-lutely! … … … Our pathetically unbalanced, unmanaged and ineffective Covid-19 pandemic response has proven that our government is simply broken and ineffective in performing it’s fundamental and primary purpose of protecting our population, particularly in times of crisis. The proof of this conclusion is clearly demonstrated by this single graph: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/worldwide-graphs/#countries-cases (or #countries-deaths) - which summarizes just how badly our once great and world-leading country performed compared to all other peer nations. … … … I believe that can I clearly see the the causes for this anecdotally, but I would prefer the causes to be investigated factually and formally documented so that any lessons-learned can be used to reset and recalibrate our government to not be so deadly toward it’s populace; To not be such an embarrassment to those of us who still believe that our country’s greatness still exists, a greatness now forced to cower in the trenches until it is once again safe to come out. If not that, then at least a valuable historical resource so future generations can understand the pivotal mistakes which we have made. … … … It is close to the time where we will have to press the reset button and reboot this country back to it’s original precepts and ideals; To clean out all the corrupting inner dirt that has built up inside - dirt that is now causing key components of our governmental systems to so badly fail.
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JunnaLayn's Opinion
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04/23/2020
On March 27, as emergency rooms in New York and across the country began filling with coronavirus patients struggling to breathe, President Donald Trump posted on Twitter to urge Ford and General Motors to “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!” One of the thousands of replies that the tweet attracted struck an equally urgent tone: “We can supply ICU Ventilators, invasive and noninvasive. Have someone call me URGENT.” Its author was Yaron Oren-Pines, an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley. A specialist in mobile phone technology, he currently has just 75 followers on Twitter and no apparent experience in government contracting or medical devices. But three days later, New York state paid Oren-Pines $69.1 million. The payment was for 1,450 ventilators — at an astonishing $47,656 per ventilator, at least triple the standard retail price of high-end models. They were never delivered. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rosalindadams/after-one-tweet-to-president-trump-this-man-got-69-million
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Ronda 's Opinion
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04/23/2020
Absolutely! There’s so much corruption in the Trump administration that the oversight committee could become overwhelmed. Having a committee that just focuses on coronavirus is an excellent idea. Waste, fraud, and abuse seems to be the Trump administration’s motto.
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Argument opposed

There is already ample oversight capacity for recent coronavirus-related spending between the existing congressional committees and the oversight bodies established by the CARES Act: the special Congressional Oversight Commission, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, and the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery. This will likely be used primarily to attack the president during an election year.

Dicr's Opinion
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04/23/2020
Can we worry about getting it under control first? And sorry to those who signed a contract to pay for your schooling. Show a little responsibility, you’re using this crisis just like those who cashed in on stocks. PS to Bob, like Benghazi?
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Just.Dave's Opinion
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04/23/2020
Why? So we can see even more videos of pelosi's freezer full of ice cream? The house is too far disconnected from us, I don't trust anyhthing they are involved in.
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Caren's Opinion
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04/23/2020
After reading the why vote yes, I could not advocate for that. Sounds like there is already enough oversight in place. When Democrats are inclined to stuff that is non-related to the virus into the stimulus that screams of how much we can’t trust them. No point in placing the fox to watch over the henhouse and for more abuses to occur. We just can’t trust Democrats.
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What is House Bill H. Res. 935?

This resolution would establish a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis as a select investigative subcommittee of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. It would be in addition to the existing oversight bodies in the House, and the three major oversight bodies established by the CARES Act for the coronavirus response.

The Select Subcommittee would consist of up to 12 members, delegates, or the resident commissioner appointed by the Speaker of the House. At least five would be appointed by the House Minority Leader. The Select Committee would conduct a full & complete investigation, and issue a final report (and potential interim reports) to the House regarding:

  • The efficiency, effectiveness, equity, and transparency of the use of taxpayer funds and relief programs to address the coronavirus crisis, including through federal agencies, state & local government entities, financial institutions and other private businesses, contracts, grants, loans, loan guarantees, investments.

  • Reports of waste, fraud, abuse, price gouging, profiteering, or other abusive practices related to the coronavirus crisis.

  • The implementation or effectiveness of any federal law applied, enacted, or considered to address the coronavirus crisis and prepare for future pandemics.

  • Preparedness for and response to the coronavirus crisis, including the planning for and implementation of testing, containment, mitigation, and surveillance activities, the acquisition of protective equipment & medical supplies, and the development of vaccines and treatments.

  • The economic impact of the coronavirus on individuals, communities, small businesses, healthcare providers, states & local governments.

  • Any disparate impacts of the coronavirus crisis on different communities and populations, including with respect to race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and geographic region, and any measures taken to address such disparate impacts.

  • Executive branch policies, deliberations, decisions, activities, and internal & external communications related to the coronavirus crisis.

  • The protection of whistleblowers who provide information about waste, fraud, abuse, or other improper activities related to the coronavirus crisis.

  • Cooperation by the executive branch and others with Congress, the inspectors general, the Government Accountability Office, and others in connection with oversight of the preparedness for and response to the coronavirus crisis.

  • Any other issues related to the coronavirus crisis.

Impact

The House of Representatives.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 935

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthHouse Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced this resolution and spoke in favor of the creation of the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis:

“Since the start of this pandemic, Congress has provided more than $2 trillion in emergency relief. To get small businesses the financial help they need to survive. To help hospitals and healthcare workers on the frontlines. To expand testing. To provide every American access to an affordable vaccine when it is developed. I could go on and on and on. We need to make sure that these resources are going where Congress intended, that they are helping struggling Americans, small businesses without any rampant fraud or abuse, and companies aren’t taking part in price gouging or profiteering. That’s what the select subcommittee on coronavirus is all about.”

House Rules Committee Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK) expressed concern regarding Democrats’ plan to form this select subcommittee, and said:

“The Speaker claims that the select committee will examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic that the select committee will examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic and will provide oversight for federal dollars being spent on the response. But Congress already has significant oversight tools at our disposal. The CARES Act established a five-member Congressional Oversight Commission specifically for this purpose, and I note that my good friend from Florida, Representative Shalala, is the House majority’s designee for one of the five seats on that commission. 
This commission is in addition to Congress’ other oversight tools, which include the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the oversight subcommittees that exist on most other permanent House committees. If we already have a separate oversight commission specifically for the CARES Act, and we already have a separate Oversight and Reform Committee, and we already have separate Oversight subcommittees… what, then, is the actual purpose of this proposed select committee? My fear, Mr. Chairman, is that this new select committee will simply turn into another partisan witch hunt into the Trump Administration. I hope I’m wrong.”

The CARES Act established three major oversight bodies responsible for the coronavirus crisis, in addition to:

  • A Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery was established within the Treasury Dept. subject to appointment by the president & confirmation by the Senate. They will conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits & investigations on the making, purchase, management, and sale of loans, loan guarantees, and other investments made under the CARES Act. The Special Inspector General will make quarterly reports.

  • A Congressional Oversight Commission consisting of five members: one appointed by the House Speaker; one by the House Majority Leader; one by the Senate Majority Leader; one by the Senate Minority Leader; and one appointed by the House Speaker & Senate Majority Leader after consulting with the Senate & House Minority Leaders. The panel can hold hearings, take testimony, and secure information from federal agencies it deems necessary to carry out its responsibility, and would be required to submit reports to Congress every 30 days. The Oversight Commission would terminate on September 30, 2025.

  • A Pandemic Response Accountability Committee made up of Inspectors General who will conduct and coordinate audits and investigations to provide accountability and identify waste, fraud, and abuse.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / mj0007)

AKA

Establishing a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis as a select investigative subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Official Title

Establishing a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis as a select investigative subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

simple resolution Progress


  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedApril 22nd, 2020
    Abso-friggen-lutely! … … … Our pathetically unbalanced, unmanaged and ineffective Covid-19 pandemic response has proven that our government is simply broken and ineffective in performing it’s fundamental and primary purpose of protecting our population, particularly in times of crisis. The proof of this conclusion is clearly demonstrated by this single graph: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/worldwide-graphs/#countries-cases (or #countries-deaths) - which summarizes just how badly our once great and world-leading country performed compared to all other peer nations. … … … I believe that can I clearly see the the causes for this anecdotally, but I would prefer the causes to be investigated factually and formally documented so that any lessons-learned can be used to reset and recalibrate our government to not be so deadly toward it’s populace; To not be such an embarrassment to those of us who still believe that our country’s greatness still exists, a greatness now forced to cower in the trenches until it is once again safe to come out. If not that, then at least a valuable historical resource so future generations can understand the pivotal mistakes which we have made. … … … It is close to the time where we will have to press the reset button and reboot this country back to it’s original precepts and ideals; To clean out all the corrupting inner dirt that has built up inside - dirt that is now causing key components of our governmental systems to so badly fail.
    Like (111)
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    Can we worry about getting it under control first? And sorry to those who signed a contract to pay for your schooling. Show a little responsibility, you’re using this crisis just like those who cashed in on stocks. PS to Bob, like Benghazi?
    Like (29)
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    On March 27, as emergency rooms in New York and across the country began filling with coronavirus patients struggling to breathe, President Donald Trump posted on Twitter to urge Ford and General Motors to “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!” One of the thousands of replies that the tweet attracted struck an equally urgent tone: “We can supply ICU Ventilators, invasive and noninvasive. Have someone call me URGENT.” Its author was Yaron Oren-Pines, an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley. A specialist in mobile phone technology, he currently has just 75 followers on Twitter and no apparent experience in government contracting or medical devices. But three days later, New York state paid Oren-Pines $69.1 million. The payment was for 1,450 ventilators — at an astonishing $47,656 per ventilator, at least triple the standard retail price of high-end models. They were never delivered. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rosalindadams/after-one-tweet-to-president-trump-this-man-got-69-million
    Like (65)
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    Absolutely! There’s so much corruption in the Trump administration that the oversight committee could become overwhelmed. Having a committee that just focuses on coronavirus is an excellent idea. Waste, fraud, and abuse seems to be the Trump administration’s motto.
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    Stack it with The Squad to: Cancel ALL student debt Provide Medicare for all Pass the Green New Deal
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    Trump has already shown he can’t be trusted as he replaces any inspector general that doesn’t bow and kiss his ring. We need this House oversight committee.
    Like (40)
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    Yes! How come a state like Kentucky takes way more money out of the federal coffers that it puts!? While NYC pays way more than it takes out? How dare McConnel Politicize American lives! As representatives of New York I hope Schumer and Gillibrand will stand up for us. McConnell is devil spawn incarnate! If NYC, CA and other blue states file bankruptcy, this country will crumble.
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    Since Moscow Mitch is calling there’s a blue state bail out when it comes to helping States and municipalities, How about we look at it this way if your state takes more from the federal government then it contributes to the treasury you’re out. If your state puts hundred billion more into the federal treasury than it receives your state should receive help. Let’s call it like it is the red states are the real welfare states. Or maybe partisan politics should not be a part of this, to me this is the best answer for America.
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    Probably should. But would Trump listen to them? If he won’t , why bother. Informed citizens know what needs to be done, but the Republican leadership Censors or removes everyone who has an opinion different than Trump. I think Trump’s behavior of late is more impeachable conduct than extorting a foreign leader for his own benefit. Where does this end?
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    Only if it can be a legitimate bipartisan committee and not a bunch of Trump’s rubber stamp cronies.
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    Yes because the president is inept in all things but corruption. He already fired the oversight we need oversight he cannot fire. This oversight needs to be made up of people that can and will bulldog him and stop whatever shenanigans he pulls and they better not go soft if by some miracle we have a Democrat president either.
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    The national response to this pandemic has been extraordinarily poor. Locally, my state of Washington has been fortunate in its governor and the deep knowledge residing in the UW and our life sciences industry here. Wisdom and the willingness to listen and act expeditiously has saved countless lives here As we learn more about the virus and its ability to lurk in an enormous number of asymptomatic people, it is increasingly clear that it is going to be among us for the foreseeable future. This is an American epidemic, and the response to it should be an American one. Instead, we have a full on political approach to it, an approach that has nothing to do with actually dealing with the problem but instead sows division, confusion, and inevitably aids the virus in its ability to spread. We need a commission to assess our response and identify areas of weakness and make it possible to plan and act rationally in the future. Let the chips fall where they may. Failure to establish this commission would only be another symptom of the division which has crippled our ability to battle the Coronavirus.
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    This crooked administration and the GOP toads that pander to him hate oversight. But transparency is a hallmark of a democracy. So I’m all for oversight. Transparency transparency transparency! Congress works for the people!
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    Why? So we can see even more videos of pelosi's freezer full of ice cream? The house is too far disconnected from us, I don't trust anyhthing they are involved in.
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    After reading the why vote yes, I could not advocate for that. Sounds like there is already enough oversight in place. When Democrats are inclined to stuff that is non-related to the virus into the stimulus that screams of how much we can’t trust them. No point in placing the fox to watch over the henhouse and for more abuses to occur. We just can’t trust Democrats.
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    tRump just blocked Fauci from testifying about the administration’s response to the virus!!! We need accountability for this administration! If not now, when? People are dying. The economy is trashed. Our food supply is in danger. How much longer are you going to allow the wannabe King dictate?
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    Cancel student debt!!!
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    Ordinarily, this could be redundant but, if we have learned anything from the last 3 1/2 (has it only been that long? :( .....is that THIS particular "Administration" requires all the oversight now in place and then some!
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    With this Administration, "overlook" remains the guiding principle of how the GOP reacts to corruption. "Perfect" calls, lies, tweets to foment uprising, suppression of the press, total disregard of the emoluments clause - why should any of those behaviors suggest a need for more oversight? As long as Trump and his family are in the White House - there can never be enough oversight.
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    Somebody needs to take a leadership role. And, no, two hours of daily rambling non sequitur filled press “briefings” don’t count.
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