Pelosi creates new House committee with subpoena power for coronavirus oversight

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday she’s creating a new House committee to oversee the coronavirus response that will have subpoena power to seek information from the Trump administration.

“It would have subpoena power that’s for sure. It’s no use having a committee unless you have subpoena power,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday during a teleconference call with reporters. “And we would hope that there would be cooperation because this is not a kind of an investigation of the administration it’s about the whole [response].”

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., will chair the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. The committee will be bipartisan, she said, with Democrats and GOP members appointed.

Unlike the 9/11-style after-action committee to investigate missteps in the coronavirus response that Rep. Adam Schiff and others have proposed, Pelosi said this committee is designed to address the “here and now” — specifically concerning the allocation of the historic amount of federal funds directed to economic recovery.

Pelosi compared the new committee to the Senate bipartisan committee chaired by then-Sen. Harry Truman in 1941 to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in defense spending in the early days of World War II.

“With over $2 trillion in emergency relief, we need to ensure those dollars are spent carefully and effectively,” Pelosi said of the massive stimulus bill Congress already passed to address the coronavirus pandemic.

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