Political News

Congress looks to retired top general to oversee coronavirus commission

Posted June 25, 2020 9:32 p.m. EDT

— Joseph Dunford, one of the nation's most senior retired generals, is being considered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to lead a panel overseeing $500 billion in funds to aid business and local governments hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

No final decision has been made and Dunford still needs to complete an ethics review, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Dunford did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment Thursday. Politico first reported that the retired general is under consideration.

New of Dunford's consideration comes during a critical period in the US coronavirus response as states across the country grapple with surges of new cases. Officially, coronavirus has killed at least 122,500 people and infected more than 2.4 million nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

If installed, Dunford would lead the five-person Congressional Oversight Commission created under the CARES Act. The panel is tasked with oversight of the stimulus funding that will be given out to small businesses, corporations and others to prop up the economy.

It was created in the stimulus law after Democrats demanded additional oversight measures over the Treasury Department's $500 billion fund.

Dunford, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman for Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, is well known by those who have worked for him to be meticulous and detailed in his decision making.

"Dunford is very in control of himself," a former Defense Department official previously told CNN. "He would pull his glasses off and talk to you -- that's Dunford-speak for showing his frustration."

Dunford sits on the board of directors at Lockheed Martin and is chairman of the board at Semper Fi Fund & America's Fund, which provides resources and support to wounded and critically ill service members and their families.

He is also a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

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