House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to Return Next Congressional Session

December 29, 2020 by Reece Nations
Nurses and medical staff make their way through the seventh floor COVID-19 unit at East Alabama Medical Center Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, in Opelika, Ala. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett)

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis would continue its work during the 117th Congressional session with House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., returning as chair of the subcommittee. 

Since its establishment in April 2020, the subcommittee has conducted 15 public hearings and over 30 investigations, according to a press release from Pelosi’s office. Through its investigations — some of which are ongoing — the subcommittee has identified more than $4 billion in potential fraud involving small business programs and returned more than $100 million in taxpayer dollars to the United States Treasury. 

“The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has identified numerous ways in which our response to the pandemic can be more effective, efficient, and equitable,” Clyburn said in a statement. “As the virus continues to spread, vaccine distribution proceeds and implementation of the new relief package begins, this work remains critically important to save American lives and livelihoods.” 

Clyburn continued, “With a new administration soon to take office, I am hopeful that the Select Subcommittee will work on a bipartisan basis to help provide the leadership and support Americans need and deserve to get us beyond this pandemic.”

In October, the committee published an interim staff report detailing the Trump administration’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The report noted the administration’s lack of coordinated national pandemic response plan, instances of interference from political appointees and failure to address conflicts of interest in the vaccine development process among other issues. 

One of the subcommittee’s investigations involved a planned $765 million loan to the Eastman Kodak Company to be used for the production of pharmaceutical ingredients despite the company’s lack of pharmaceutical experience, according to the staff report. The Trump administration halted the loan after the subcommittee’s investigation was announced. 

“As speaker, it is a privilege to once again appoint Whip Jim Clyburn as chairman of the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis,” Pelosi said in a statement. “As chairman, he has been masterful as he has led the Committee’s bipartisan, effective work to ensure oversight and accountability of our nation’s pandemic response on behalf of the American people.” 

Pelosi continued, “His track record of success has helped ensure that the relief funds allocated by Congress are spent wisely and efficiently, while exposing the deadly and tragic failures of the Trump Administration’s anti-science, anti-governance response to the crisis. Under Chairman Clyburn’s leadership, the Committee will continue to be a vital force in our work to crush the virus and deliver relief as urgently, efficiently and effectively as possible.”

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