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Sun May 17, 2020, 08:48 AM

With no leader, commission overseeing virus relief struggles

Source: Associated Press

With no leader, commission overseeing virus relief struggles

By MATTHEW DALY
May 17, 2020

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.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/cf71cabc251a81117f6fef5d5dfd846b

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