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Brian Miller confirmed as pandemic special inspector general in partisan vote

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Trump-appointee Brian Miller as the special inspector general to oversee the taxpayer-funded coronavirus pandemic recovery fund. Miller was confirmed by a divided vote in the chamber.

Senator Doug Jones of Alabama was the only Democrat to vote for Miller in the 51-40 vote. 

Miller, a White House lawyer since 2018, previously worked as a federal prosecutor and inspector general for the General Services Administration. 

As special inspector general, Miller will oversee a $500 billion Treasury fund and is tasked with conducting audits and investigations on the purchase and sale of loans and loan guarantees related to the CARES Act. That law mandated the creation of Miller's role as an independent watchdog within the Treasury Department. Miller's office will have a budget of $25 million.

Miller's independence has been questioned by Democrats, given his most recent job in the White House counsel's office. 

"As an IG nominee with personal ties to the White House Counsel's Office and an administration outwardly hostile to anyone who tries to hold the president accountable, Mr. Miller failed in committee to explain, or in the letters afterwards, how he will establish his independence from his current boss," Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown said of Miller during his confirmation consideration. 

Miller pledged impartiality during his confirmation hearing. 

"If confirmed, I will conduct every audit and investigation with fairness and impartiality," Miller said in his testimony last month. "I will be vigilant to protect the integrity and independence of the Office of Special Inspector General."

— CBS News' John Nolen contributed to this report

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