Here is how those protections are supposed to work:
1) The Congressional Oversight Commission
Who’s in charge
Congress’ main oversight tool is a new, five-member panel that is charged with monitoring a $500 billion fund for distressed industries operated by Mnuchin, in partnership with the Federal Reserve. The four top congressional leaders each get an appointee, with the chair picked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Though there’s no timeline for the leaders to make their selections, they’ve indicated that their choices will come quickly. Part of that is by necessity: The law requires that the commission issue reports within 30 days of any funding flowing from Treasury and the Fed as part of the rescue effort — and then issue additional reports every 30 days. Behind-the-scenes lobbying for appointments has intensified since the bill passed.
What money will be watched
The bulk of Mnuchin’s fund is intended to help the Fed infuse cash into the economy through a mix of loans, loan guarantees and investments to troubled companies, sectors and state or local governments. But there’s also little guidance so far as to how this money will be distributed and to whom, with Mnuchin yet to publish all of his planned procedures. The congressional commission is likely to home in on how these decisions are made.
Mnuchin has, however, already issued guidelines for the airline industry — $25 billion for commercial airlines and $4 billion for cargo carriers. The 11-page guidance recommends that…