House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) announced the formation of a new coronavirus oversight committee led by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D., S.C.), who last month said the pandemic gives Democrats “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
The speaker’s announcement on Thursday comes as her caucus plots another relief package, with a national vote-by-mail requirement as a top priority. Pelosi faced criticism in March after stalling the then-proposed stimulus bill in favor of her own version, which included increased fuel emissions standards for airlines, an expansion of wind and solar credits, and vote-by-mail provisions. President Donald Trump called the Democrat’s proposal “crazy.”
Pelosi said Thursday the committee would monitor the billions in federal money spent fighting the virus and would have subpoena power. House Republicans immediately expressed concern over Clyburn’s participation, arguing that his March remarks indicate he is looking to use the pandemic as a pretext to advance Democratic policy goals.