Treasury Department Says CARES Act “Clear”—Will Comply with Independent Inspectors General Oversight
Washington, D.C. (July 6, 2020)— Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after receiving a letter from the Department of Treasury stating that the law is “clear” that the authority of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC)—a committee of independent Inspectors General created through bipartisan Congressional action in the CARES Act—extends to all spending under the CARES Act:
“I’m pleased the Treasury Department has committed to complying with the law that gives the PRAC authority to conduct oversight over all spending in the CARES Act. This is a significant victory for oversight and accountability after an erroneous legal opinion seemed to indicate that the Trump Administration was manufacturing legal loopholes to undermine Congressional intent—and the PRAC’s authority. I thank Secretary Mnuchin for this clarification and look forward to working with him to ensure the Department fully complies with the PRAC’s investigations to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government’s spending of over $2 trillion of taxpayer dollars.”
On June 11, 2020, the Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency sent a letter to the Committee raising concerns that the Trump Administration is undermining mandated transparency and oversight of important components of CARES Act spending.
On June 30, Chairwoman Maloney pressed Secretary Mnuchin to commit to complying with the PRAC’s oversight authorities, which Congress intended to apply to all CARES Act spending.
Chairwoman Maloney, along with Senator Gary Peters, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, proposed the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to ensure that taxpayer funds are being spent in a transparent manner to combat the coronavirus crisis.
Congress adopted their proposal on a bipartisan basis to create an independent body with broad access to documents and information.