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Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The House voted along party lines on Thursday in favor of establishing a select committee to oversee the federal government's response to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: The committee, chaired by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), will have subpoena power and broad authority to investigate how the Trump administration uses the trillions of dollars in coronavirus relief allocated by Congress.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the formation of the committee earlier this month, but needed the full House's approval before formally establishing the panel.
  • The committee will be a special investigatory subcommittee under the Oversight Committee.

Between the lines: Republicans have voiced concerns that the committee will be partisan, though the resolution states that seven Democrats and five Republicans will be appointed to the panel.

  • During a press conference Wednesday, McCarthy said he doesn't see the point of creating a select committee to oversee stimulus spending, calling it "redundant."
  • "We already have three other committees" to conduct oversight of the allocation of stimulus funds, he said.

The big picture: The committee won't be the only mechanism intended to provide oversight of the coronavirus response.

  • Last month's stimulus package established a new special inspector general appointed by the president, a separate panel of inspectors general, and $20 million for the Government Accountability Office.
  • However, President Trump has already partially kneecapped the oversight effort by firing the Pentagon's acting inspector general Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel.

Go deeper

The next stimulus takes center stage — just as it runs dry

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big Tech was buoyed by the exact thing that prevented the dreadful GDP report from being even worse in the second quarter: the pandemic stimulus measures.

Why it matters: The stimulus is in the spotlight as its key expanded unemployment benefits provision is set to lapse despite coronavirus cases surging across the country, reimposed lockdown measures and more businesses shuttering.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress sprints to meet crush of deadlines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congressional leaders have been pushing off vital action for months — and a lot of it will catch up with them in December, which begins Wednesday.

Driving the news: Funding for the federal government is set to expire at midnight on Friday. There are also consequential deadlines related to the debt limit, President Biden's agenda and annual actions like voting on the National Defense Authorization Act.