Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans on demanding Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to push for oversight hearings next week to investigate President Trump and his administration involved in the White House coronavirus task force for “failure at implementing” properly the numerous coronavirus relief packages.
“I am sending a letter with my democratic ranking members and leaders today to McConnell and saying, what we should do now that we’re coming back next week is have a hearings oversight,” Schumer said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday morning. “Congress can pass laws and they can be very good laws, these were bipartisan they passed 96 to nothing but this administration has been an abject failure at implementing most of these laws, they don’t have the qualifying personnel, they don’t have the focus all too often it seems the President’s ego is at stake.”
He added, “We have an obligation in a bipartisan way to the American people to do oversight call these people before the Congress, or the Senate, having these hearings be publicized, and this will enable them to ask a question after a tough question. The executive branch has failed miserably at implementing almost all the things Congress has passed, and I’ve never seen it administration so bad at enacting the laws that Congress has put together.”
In calling for a hearing, the Democrat leaders said he would like to hear testimony from White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to question the group regarding coronavirus testing and the new guidelines from President Trump to reopen the country.
“Haul in Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, Azar, and say ‘Why isn’t testing working?’ Your plan, the plan they put out yesterday had almost no details as to how it’s going to work, why don’t we need a national regime to make sure that the manufacturing and supply chains work. The states can’t do the same thing,” Schumer said. “What is the plan how are the states going to do this and why isn’t the federal government doing it. We haven’t had one good reason, one good reason why the federal government shouldn’t be in charge.”
“You know the report that they shoot yesterday. It was pathetic. It didn’t have any details, and then at the end, it said let the states do it. No one in the administration has given an answer. Specifically, as to how the state should do it and that’s one of the reasons I think we needed hearings,” he continued.
Along with the Coronavirus Task Force members, Schumer also wants to call in Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza to testify regarding reports that big chain businesses such as Ruth Chris, Shake Shack and the Los Angeles Lakers were quickly able to receive the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, while struggling small businesses are still waiting for the money despite being approved.
“The only reason I talk about hearings, is you need somehow pressure on this administration you need it, because they’re not doing it now why is it 30 days ago after the first COVID law was passed,” Schumer said. “They got to straighten out this computer system right away. They gotta tell all the banks, no more big boys, no more of these chains, go after this, go approve the small business loans and get more personnel in there right away.”
Schumer also implied that President Trump is ignoring his task force members expertise because “he gets in his head” in rushing to reopen by “clinging to the idea that “the states should do it with no plan.”
“One of the problems is I think the experts are not listened to by the president he gets in his head let the states do what he says I made this decision. I’m not going to change my mind, and guess what it is hurting people are getting ill because there aren’t tests,” he implied. “This administration clings to this idea that the states should do it with no plan as to how the states can do it no rationale as to how the states can do it. It’s It’s awful. That’s all you can say it’s awful and Mr President Trump Donald Trump. You’re hurting the recovery you want so badly, by not having the tests. The best way to recover quickly is testing.”
On Monday, Schumer issued a statement shortly after it was announced that the Senate would reconvene on May 4, demanding McConnell to instruct Committee Chairs from his party to “immediately begin vigorous and desperately needed oversight” of President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and his administration role of implementing 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,” the statement reads.