Trump Says He Won’t Respect Congressional Oversight Of $500 Billion Corporate Bailout In Coronavirus Stimulus Bill
President Donald Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package on Friday, but undercut a provision Democratic lawmakers had fought relentlessly for: oversight of the $500 billion being sent to major industries affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Democrats negotiated for the immediate release of company names benefitting, wording that excludes Trump and his family’s enterprises from receiving money as well as having an inspector general to oversee the fund.
But in a signing statement issued after he approved the bill, Trump said he will treat the inspector general requirement as optional.
“I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the [inspector general] to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required” by Article II of the Constitution, Trump said in the statement.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) called Trump’s statement “no surprise” during an interview on MSNBC. “But Congress will exercise its oversight and we will have our panel appointed by the House to, in real time, to make sure we know where those funds are going to be expended.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) was one of the first Democrats to label the $500 billion set aside for corporations a “slush fund.”
She was also one of the first to call out Trump for trying to undercut the oversight measure that was “already too weak.”
“And just like that, the Congressional oversight provisions for the 1/2 TRILLION dollar Wall St slush fund (which were *already* too weak) are tossed away the day the bill is signed,” she tweeted Friday. “This is a frightening amount of public money to have given a corrupt admin w/ 0 accountability.”
And just like that, the Congressional oversight provisions for the 1/2 TRILLION dollar Wall St slush fund (which were *already* too weak) are tossed away the day the bill is signed.
This is a frightening amount of public money to have given a corrupt admin w/ 0 accountability. https://t.co/yhL62fj58R
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 27, 2020