Cares Congressional Oversight: Scope and Structure

Bloomberg Law
5 minute read | April.10.2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, signed in March 2020, enacted an unprecedented level of emergency government spending to provide public health relief and stabilize an economy damaged by the pandemic, and included oversight provisions to monitor how the $2 trillion is spent.

The provisions are broadly similar — with at least one important exception — to those in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis, which distributed $700 billion through its Troubled Asset Relief Program. EESA's oversight mechanisms lingered for years through investigations, hearings, reports to Congress, and in some instances, criminal prosecutions. With the CARES Act weighing in at more than three times the level of EESA's federal spending (and more likely on the way), its oversight features seem certain to cast a similarly long shadow.

Originally published in Bloomberg Law; reprinted with permission.