Donald Trump has removed the main leader behind the $2 trillion coronavirus fund.
So, remember how we were all supposed to be getting those $1,200 checks? Welp, things are starting to look a little grim as the Celebrity-in-Chief has just removed the main official, Glenn Fine, who was overseeing the coronavirus relief stimulus package that was announced back in March. CNBC reports that this move comes after Trump’s previous similar acts against independent inspectors general across the federal government.
Fine was working as the acting Pentagon inspector general, but Trump fired him Monday afternoon. “Yesterday, the President nominated Mr. Jason Abend for the position of DoD Inspector General,” said Dwrena Allen, a spokesperson for the Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a statement to CNBC. In 2017, Abend, a Trump associate, joined Homeland Security as a senior policy advisor for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“The same day, the President also designated Mr. Sean W. O’Donnell, who is the Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General (EPA IG), to serve as the Acting DoD IG in addition to his current duties at the EPA,” Allen said.“Mr. Fine is no longer on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee,” Allen continued, adding that he will now “revert to his position as the Principal Deputy Inspector General.”
Fellow inspectors general chose Fine as the leader of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee on March 30, which was assigned to them as a job when the act was passed. But the removal will now ban Fine from being able to oversee the committee totally as only sitting inspectors general can be on the committee. The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee’s inspectors general are responsible for making sure the $2 trillion relief and stimulus package are executed clearly and accurately. The other side of the committee oversees the $500 billion corporate bailout fund.
The even more sad part of this is the committee has yet to make decisions on many issues, including how the money will be spent and what companies it will go to. Additionally, when Trump signed off on the package, he issued a declaration stating that he will be able to potentially undermine the actions the committee makes regarding the package. He wrote that his administration would not be “permitting the [the Inspector General] to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision.” Now, Democrats are calling out Trump’s insidious act.
“This is a major problem that I’m very concerned about on a whole series of levels,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash, during a call with the media on Tuesday. “I think we all understand President Trump, very clear and, frankly, on his first day in office: He wants people who are loyal to him. Who will praise him. First and foremost, that is what he wants in every position that he can control. He’s going to try to and expand what he can control. Theoretically, IGs are not simply subject to the whims of presidents. The President is not bringing talent to the challenge. He is bringing suck-ups to challenge,” he added.