Maloney Pushes Sec. Mnuchin to Commit to CARES Act Transparency and Oversight
WASHINGTON, DC – During today’s House Financial Services Committee hearing, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, pressed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about an erroneous legal opinion from the Treasury Department, which raised questions about the scope of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee’s (PRAC) oversight authority. The Congresswoman urged Secretary Mnuchin to interpret the PRAC’s oversight authorities to apply to all of the CARES Act spending.
During their exchange, the Congresswoman stated, “This legal analysis is so bad that it borders on bad faith. The opinion claims — with no evidence — that Congress did not intend for the PRAC to have oversight authority over anything in the first half of the CARES Act — including the PPP, any of the Fed’s lending facilities, or the $150 billion in funding for states and local governments. Secretary Mnuchin, this interpretation is wrong. It’s just plain wrong.”
The Congresswoman, in partnership with Senator Gary Peters, proposed the legislative language that established the PRAC and was heavily involved in negotiating that provision of the CARES Act.
She continued, “I’m telling you that Congress’s intent was for the PRAC to oversee all of the spending in the CARES Act. Not just one half of the CARES Act — all of it. That was our intent, and that’s what the bill said — explicitly.”
In continuing the Trump Administration’s consistent stonewalling of oversight efforts, Secretary Mnuchin refused to commit to interpreting the PRAC’s oversight authority to include all of the CARES Act spending.