Defense Department watchdog to oversee $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill – live updates

Defense Department watchdog to oversee $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill - live updates

WASHINGTON — Glenn Fine, the inspector general for the Defense Department, was appointed to head the committee that will oversee the largest rescue package in U.S. history.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump last week, provides more than $2 trillion to help stave off the economic IMPACTS caused by the COVID-19 outbreak that has now killed more than 3,000 people in the U.S. and nearly 40,000 people worldwide.

The CARES Act calls for the establishment of a Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to oversee the distribution of the funds approved in the massive stimulus bill, as well as the two previous emergency spending bills that were passed to address the outbreak. Fine will head that nine-person committee composed of inspector generals from other departments.

"I look forward to working with my fellow Inspectors General on the Committee to provide effective, independent oversight of the funding provided by the pandemic legislation," Fine said in a statement on Monday. "Through our efforts, we will seek to promote transparency and ensure that funds are being used consistently with the law’s mandate to respond to this public health crises."

'Much of it was junk’:Trump, Pelosi claim credit for beating back bad ideas in coronavirus stimulus

During the contentious debate ahead of the final bill's passage, the establishment of an oversight committee to prevent waste and abuse was insisted upon by congressional Democrats who were particularly concerned that the nearly $500 billion allocated to help large industries could become a corporate "slush fund."

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he was pleased with Fine's appointment.

"The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee is critical to holding President Trump and his administration accountable to the letter and spirit of the law," Schumer said in a statement. "Glenn Fine has a good reputation as a tough federal prosecutor and former DOJ Inspector General, and must exercise his full oversight authority to ensure that the Trump administration implements the CARES Act as intended."

Fine has served as the acting inspector general for the Pentagon since 2016 and he joined the Defense Department's Office of the Inspector General in 2015. Prior to that, he served at the inspector general for the Department of Justice from 2000 to 2011, according to his DoD biography. A co-captain on the Harvard University basketball team, Fine was drafted by the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, but he went on the law school instead. He also obtained a master's degree from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.


News Related


Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »