Republicans are hitting back hard at the Democrats’ latest attempt to hobble Trump’s presidency.
On Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, a panel that will purportedly provide oversight of coronavirus stimulus spending.
Pelosi said this committee is designed to address the “here and now” — specifically concerning the allocation of the historic amount of federal funds directed to economic recovery.
Republicans view the panel as a purely partisan move that isn’t necessary because there are already numerous oversight measures in the $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by Congress last week.
Byron York in The Washington Examiner suggested that the real reason for the new panel is to find fault with the president’s response to the pandemic. “Pelosi’s announcement came a day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called for a 9/11-style independent commission to investigate ‘mistakes’ in the virus response,” York wrote.
Shortly after that, Schiff told the Washington Post that in Congress, House Democrats must investigate the Trump administration’s handling of virus testing and the government’s distribution of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.
“We need to make sure there’s no favoritism in terms of political allies, no discrimination against states or governors based on lack of presidential flattery,” Schiff said, indicating the probe would be aimed squarely at President Trump.
“It’s the same old, same old,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. “They never miss a beat to get political and go after the president.”
The new committee will be headed by Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C), the very same congressman who called the coronavirus relief bill a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
Democrat Jim Clyburn called the coronavirus relief bill a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
Now he is chairing a House Select Committee on the Coronavirus.
If you think for a second that Democrats aren’t politicizing this pandemic, you’re wrong.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) April 3, 2020
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also expressed concerns about the choice of Clyburn to lead the panel.
Dear Democrats: a global health crisis is not an excuse for you to try to restructure America as a socialist country. pic.twitter.com/BJUt9QBmKI
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 2, 2020
“This isn’t about oversight, it sounds like pure politics,” McCarthy said on “Fox & Friends” Friday morning. “Let’s take care of the crisis at hand right now. We have five different oversights already looking at this and this is what she comes up with?”
Speaker Pelosi's ambition to create a select committee on the coronavirus crisis isn't about oversight. It's pure politics.
She wants to exploit this crisis in order to fundamentally restructure America and advance her political agenda. pic.twitter.com/hYHXx6F5kS
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 3, 2020
The president wearily expressed dismay with the Democrats’ latest anti-Trump gambit during his coronavirus task force briefing on Thursday. “I want to remind everyone here in our nation’s capital, especially in Congress, that this is not the time for politics, endless partisan investigations. Here we go again,” Trump said. “They’ve already done extraordinary damage to our country in recent years.”
The president stressed that “the people doing the witch hunts have been losing, and they’ve been losing by a lot.”
Thank you President @realDonaldTrump for saying it like it is!
— David J Harris Jr (@DavidJHarrisJr) April 3, 2020
Trump on Thursday also blasted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a very Trumpian letter Thursday.
“If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, which went haplessly on forever and ended up going nowhere (except increasing my poll numbers), and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the ‘invisible enemy,'” Trump wrote.
The president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., on Twitter called the congressional Democrats “a disgrace.”
“Th[e] BS never ends. Are you kidding us now Dems??? You’re a disgrace,” Don Jr. tweeted.
And Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz scorched Democrats on Fox News’ Hannity Thursday night, saying they are targeting the president again because they’re “jealous and out of power.” The congressman added that Dems are “reverting to the muscle memory of their impeachment strategy, where they focused on subpoenas rather than solutions and investigations rather than ICU bed capacity.”
“We really see what Democrats are actually fighting for—not our healthcare workers, not empowering our states and local communities, but things like $350 million for illegal aliens, migrants and refugees rather than the American people and the American worker,” he said.