Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., was selected on Monday to be the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee – setting him up for a high-profile role as Republicans seek to combat Democratic oversight moves on the Trump administration.
The GOP Steering Committee choose Comer – a businessman and farm owner – to be the party’s ranking member on the Oversight and Reform Committee during a closed-door panel in the basement of the Capitol.
Comer won out over Reps. Jody Hice of Georgia, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Mark Green of Tennessee, a West Point grad and ER physician.
Following his appointment, Comer wasted little time in laying out his agenda for his new role and blasting Democratic investigations.
“Throughout my career, I have been committed to holding those accountable who misuse taxpayer dollars and promote corruption in government,” Comer said in a statement. "Unfortunately, rather than conducting credible oversight, House Democrats have spent significant time and resources harassing the Trump Administration purely out of spite and hatred.”
He added: “I am excited to take the reins as Ranking Member and take my obligation to pursue legitimate waste, fraud and abuse in government very seriously.”
The Democrat-controlled House Oversight and Reform Committee has been aggressively monitoring the Trump administration’s spending, especially in light of the massive amounts of federal money being given out amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Democrats have slammed the Trump administration for revelations in a Government Accountability Office report that found that nearly $1.1 million in coronavirus relief payments totaling some $1.4 billion went to dead people.
The revelation of more than $1 billion in public money erroneously paid outshines a light on the part of the government's massive relief program with which most ordinary Americans are most familiar. It follows disclosures that several major restaurant chains and other publicly traded companies had received emergency loans under the $670 billion program for the nation's struggling small businesses.
“GAO found that more than $1 trillion in taxpayer funds have already been obligated — including more than $1 billion to deceased individuals — with little transparency into how that money is being spent," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said in a statement.