Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday called for oversight hearings as early as next week over what he said is President Trump’s “abject failure” at properly implementing coronavirus relief measures
“This administration has been an abject failure at implementing most of these laws,” Schumer said, outlining his first order of business during a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Schumer formally made his demand in a statement on Monday, calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Republicans to “immediately begin vigorous and desperately needed oversight of the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its implementation of the CARES Act”:
There must be public Senate hearings, at a minimum, to examine why the United States still does not have adequate testing and why some lenders in the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program have prioritized the applications of their larger and wealthier clients to the detriment of smaller businesses that have oftentimes suffered greater hardship.
Schumer told Morning Joe that lawmakers should “haul in Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, Azar, and say ‘Why isn’t testing working?’”
He is also calling on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza to testify, particularly regarding Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans going to big businesses.
“All too often it seems the president’s ego is at stake,” Schumer said.
While the House will not reconvene next week, the Senate is scheduled to return May 4. McConnell said they will start confirming judges “as soon as we get back in session.”
“We need to have hearings, and we need to confirm judges. … The pandemic will not prevent us from achieving that goal,” McConnell said, drawing ire from Schumer:
Meanwhile, Democrats are angling to use the next coronavirus relief measure to pursue their long-time agenda to implement universal vote by mail. Schumer, at the same time, has stated his intention of pushing a provision, the “No PR Act,” to prevent President Trump’s signature from appearing on stimulus checks.
“The No PR Act puts an end to the president’s exploitation of taxpayer money for promotional material that only benefits his re-election campaign,” Schumer said.
“Delaying the release of stimulus checks so his signature could be added is a waste of time and money,” he continued, touting the debunked narrative of delays attributed to the addition of the president’s signature.