Democrats Push to Strengthen Stimulus Oversight in Next Round of Coronavirus Legislation
A group of House and Senate Democrats seeking stronger oversight of the massive coronavirus relief programs is introducing a new bill to force companies to publicly report how they're using the funds, and to beef up the oversight of the small business aid program. Introduced by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Chris Coons, D-Del., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., the proposal would strengthen some of the key watchdog provisions in the original $2.3 trillion CARES Act, according to a review of the bill obtained by ABC News. The measure would require the Small Business Administration to publicly report information on lenders and recipients in the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses every week, in an effort to add transparency to an initiative that was criticized for initially allowing large, publicly-traded companies to participate in the program. It would also expand the jurisdiction of the Congressional Oversight Commission -- appointed by Hill leaders to monitor the Treasury and Federal Reserve programs -- to include all spending, including the Paycheck Protection Program. The proposal, which is being introduced by Reps. John Sarbanes, D-Md., and Pramila Jayapal D-Wash., in the House, would also codify the Federal Reserve's plans to release the names and amounts borrowed in their coronavirus lending programs and require borrowers to share how the funds are being used, along with information about compensation and their workforce -- such as executive salaries and bonuses.