Brown, Schumer Push Newly Confirmed Special Inspector General For Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR) Brian Miller To Demonstrate His Independence And Integrity



Senators to Special Inspector General Miller: The American People Deserve Nothing Less Than Your Full Commitment to The Job

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), yesterday sent a letter to newly confirmed Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR) Brian Miller reminding him of his commitment to the American people and his oversight responsibilities. Specifically, the lawmakers urged Inspector General Miller to resist influence or pressure, uphold the law, and protect taxpayers’ interests – even if it places his job at risk. The Senators also reiterated their commitment to oversight of CARES Act lending programs to ensure that the critical funding overseen by the SIGPR goes to help workers and main street businesses.

“In the coming days and weeks, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve will announce details on lending to the air transportation sector, provide reports on lending to small and medium-sized businesses, and operationalize additional lending facilities. Your service to the taxpayers begins now, and you cannot afford to delay establishing your office and hiring the most qualified individuals,” wrote the Senators.  “If you encounter any obstacles to fulfilling your duties, you must immediately report them to Congress. The workers, small businesses, and states and municipalities relying on the CARES Act deserve nothing less than your full commitment to your job.”

Brown has previously called for Special Inspector General Miller to maintain his independence and has previously expressed his concerns regarding Miller’s independence.

A copy of the letter appears here and below:

The Honorable Brian D. Miller

Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Dear Special Inspector General Miller:

Congratulations on your confirmation as the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act).

Yours is an important job requiring zealous oversight of taxpayer dollars for use in helping our economy and nation emerge from this pandemic. As you undertake your new role and begin to ensure the proper administration of the financial support provided under the CARES Act, we would like to remind you of the commitments and assurances you provided to members of the Banking Committee. Specifically, you testified to:

  • “seek the truth in all matters that come before me and use my authority and resources to uncover fraud, waste, and abuse”;
  • “report any undue influence on me from whatever source”;
  • “make all information public and to inform the taxpayer. The only possible exception, Senator, would be if it was part of a criminal referral to the Department of Justice”;
  • “do your job and let the consequences be what they may be”;
  • “never be afraid of stating the truth, and if you have to be fired, you are fired. But you always have to be prepared at least to walk away from your job. That goes with the territory of being an Inspector General”; and
  • “go where the facts lead, and they may be facts that the President and the administration do not like, but I will state them anyway.” [1]

As expressed at your nomination hearing and in our private meetings, we remain concerned about your ability to be independent of this Administration and hold it accountable for any misconduct or abuses given your time working in the White House Counsel’s office. Moreover, our concern has grown as President Trump continues to dismiss other inspectors general in his mission to eliminate anyone that holds the Administration accountable for any wrongdoing. As SIGPR, you must resist influence or pressure, uphold the law, and protect taxpayers’ interests – even if it places your job at risk.

Ultimately, your duty is to the American people, not the President. The American people, our colleagues, and both of us will judge you against your commitments, made under oath before the Banking Committee, as well as the basic expectation of an inspector general and public servant to demonstrate the utmost integrity, transparency, and diligence.

In the coming days and weeks, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve will announce details on lending to the air transportation sector, provide reports on lending to small and medium-sized businesses, and operationalize additional lending facilities. Your service to the taxpayers begins now, and you cannot afford to delay establishing your office and hiring the most qualified individuals. If you encounter any obstacles to fulfilling your duties, you must immediately report them to Congress. The workers, small businesses, and states and municipalities relying on the CARES Act deserve nothing less than your full commitment to your job.

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