Last month, President Donald Trump removed the watchdog in charge of overseeing the $2 trillion in coronavirus relief passed by Congress, leaving no one in place to hold his administration accountable. Well, not so fast.
Congress’ independent in-house watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, is preparing a blizzard of audits that will become the first wide-ranging check on Trump’s handling of the sprawling national rescue effort, Politico reports.
And even as Trump has gone to war against internal watchdogs in his administration, the GAO remains largely out of the president’s grasp because of its home in the legislative branch.
The GAO is reportedly exploring the early missteps inherent in launching a multitrillion-dollar law that touches every facet of American life, Politico reported, citing senior investigators.
Topics will range from the government’s handling of coronavirus testing to its distribution of medical equipment, and from the nation’s food supply to nursing home infections and any missteps in distributing the emergency cash payments that began landing in millions of Americans’ bank accounts this week. The office’s top fraud investigator said it’s already received a complaint about a check landing in the account of a deceased person.
“We’re moving forward very quickly,” said Angela Nicole Clowers, chief of the GAO’s health care unit. “We’re an existing institution and have a lot of institutional knowledge about all these programs. It gives us sort of a leg up,” she added.
You can read the entire report here.