May 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden, Warren call for increased oversight of coronavirus funds in joint op-ed

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren teamed up in a joint op-ed in McClatchy to call for better oversight of coronavirus relief funds.

Why it matters: A CBS News poll released Sunday showed Warren is Democrats' top preference for Biden's running mate with 36% of the vote, followed by Sen. Kamala Harris at 19%, Stacey Abrams at 14% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar at 13%.

  • Biden said in December — well before he was the presumptive nominee — that he would consider Warren as a potential running mate.

What they're saying: The pair called for anti-corruption reforms in three core areas: protections against conflicts of interest, more extensive public reporting of lobbying, and the strengthening of oversight powers.

  • Conflicts of interest: "Both of us have long refused to own or trade in individual stocks while in office, and this should be a requirement, not a choice, for members of Congress and other government officials responsible for the recovery programs."
  • Lobbying: "Big corporations that will apply for or accept bailout funds should not be able to engage in political spending or to use their resources and political clout to lobby for bailout legislation that helps them, not the Americans and small businesses in need."
  • Oversight: "Inspectors general should be shielded from removal except for what’s codified as 'good cause.' Whistleblowers must be protected. While the Federal Reserve recently agreed to disclose certain key information, the full details of every bailout deal the Treasury Department or the Fed strikes with a company must be made public."

What to watch: "If Congress and the Trump administration are unwilling to act now, then we will ensure that these changes are made in January 2021, both through new legislation and immediate executive commitments made by the Biden administration," the pair wrote.

Go deeper: Biden announces VP search committee

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