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Top House Democrats Release Joint Oversight Analysis, Demand Administration Provide National Plan to Combat Pandemic

Aug 6, 2020
Press Release

Today Rep. James E. Clyburn, Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Rep. Richard E. Neal, Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, Rep. Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the Committee on Financial Services, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Bobby Scott, Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, and Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Chairwoman of  the Committee on Small Business, released a joint oversight analysis of the Trump Administration’s failed response to the coronavirus pandemic.  This analysis follows reporting of more than 158,000 coronavirus-related deaths, more than 4.8 million infections, and 20 straight weeks with more than 1 million Americans filing new claims for unemployment insurance.

In a press call today, Chairs Clyburn, Pallone, Neal, Maloney, and Scott called on the Administration to deliver a comprehensive national plan to contain the virus and safely reopen our economy and schools.

“It is far past time for the White House to correct its failures and finally provide the federal leadership and clear, comprehensive national strategy we need to fight this pandemic,” said Chairman Clyburn.  “The American people deserve a better response to this pandemic than “it is what it is.”

“The Trump Administration’s failed leadership led to a patchwork response that forced states to compete against each other on the private market for tests, testing supplies, and PPE,” said Chairman Pallone.  “In order to effectively contain the virus, we need a national and comprehensive testing strategy, which Democrats passed in the Heroes Act nearly three months ago.  It’s past time for President Trump and Senate Republicans to face reality and join us in moving forward with a national testing and contact tracing plan.”

In the joint oversight analysis, seven House legislative and oversight committees make clear why an overwhelming majority disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Since March, the Chairs have held hearings and briefings, conducted investigations, and called on the Administration to show the leadership needed to address this public health crisis.

This analysis found:

  • President Trump failed to implement national strategies to test and trace and to reopen the economy and schools safely.
  • President Trump failed to prepare and adequately respond to the pandemic leading to millions infected, thousands dead, and the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression.
  • President Trump failed to provide the American people with the truth, fired watchdogs, sidelined experts, and obstructed Congressional oversight.

“As a result of this failure of leadership, the Administration left states and local governments, hospitals, and others to scramble and compete against each other,” said Chairwoman Maloney.  “Clearly, our oversight has been critically important in our mission to ensure the American people have what they need to fight this virus even though the Administration has blocked witnesses from testifying, fired key officials from oversight posts, and failed to provide key information in our investigations.  The United States must correct course.”

Today, the Department of Labor reported that more than 55 million Americans – over 30 percent of the labor force – have filed for first-time jobless claims since March.  That amounts to 20 straight weeks with more than 1 million claims.  This comes as families, school leaders, and state and local officials try to figure out how to safely reopen schools during this pandemic.

“Nowhere is the Administration’s failure to provide to a coherent, science-based plan to confront this pandemic more apparent than in our workplaces and our schools,” said Chairman Scott.  “The Administration has no plan to protect workers’ safety and it has no plan to safely reopen schools.  Workers, students, and families deserve better.”

“Nearly three months ago, House Democrats passed the Heroes Act, legislation that not only took bold steps to address the public health emergency, but also included critical provisions to help American workers and their families through this recession,” said Chairman Neal.  “But Senate Republicans failed to pass our legislation, this assistance has lapsed, and recipients have abruptly lost almost two-thirds of their weekly unemployment benefits.  Quite simply, the Trump Administration and Senate Republicans have abandoned American workers.”

Click here to read today’s joint oversight analysis.

Click here to download a video recording of this morning’s press call.