Apr 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House passes resolution creating coronavirus oversight committee

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.

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Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,923,432— Total deaths: 364,836 — Total recoveries — 2,493,434Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,745,930 — Total deaths: 102,808 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

In photos: Protests intensify across the U.S. over George Floyd's death

Protesters outside the Capitol in Washington, DC, on May 29. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Mass protests in Atlanta, New York City and Washington, D.C., sparked clashes with police on Friday, as demonstrators demanded justice for the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after at least one police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

The big picture: The officer involved in the killing of Floyd was charged with third-degree murder on Friday, after protests continued in Minneapolis for three days.

Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.