Blue Dogs Back Legislation to Empower, Protect Inspectors General

May 1, 2020 by Dan McCue
Rep. Jim Cooper

WASHINGTON – The Blue Dog Coalition has endorsed the Inspectors General Independence Act, which establishes seven-year terms for the position and protects those who hold it from politically-motivated firings by only allowing removal for cause.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., a longtime member of the Blue Dog Coalition and advocate for government reform, following a series of actions by the White House seen as undermining the ability of IGs to oversee the government’s pandemic response.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is the sponsor of the Senate companion of this legislation.

“At a time when Congress has never spent so much money so quickly, oversight from Inspectors General has never been more essential,” Cooper said. “Our country is facing a crisis we’ve never seen before and bad actors should be held accountable.”

In 2007, the House of Representatives passed these measures with overwhelming bipartisan support as part of the Improving Government Accountability Act, which later became the Inspector General Reform Act and passed the Senate with unanimous support in 2008.

The bill was signed into law in 2008, but the seven-year term and protections against political retribution were removed from the enacted version.

The Inspectors General Independence Act would add back these two components from Rep. Cooper’s original bill.

“Trillions of taxpayer dollars are being spent on protecting our health and supporting our economy,” said Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, co-chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility & Government Reform.

“Now, more than ever, we must have independent watchdogs to ensure full transparency and that we get the most for every tax dollar spent. Oversight must be free of political interference and influence,” McAdams said.

“The necessity for independent Inspectors General throughout our federal government has never been greater,” agreed Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, the other co-chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility & Government Reform.

“Even in normal times the value of insulated oversight within the federal executive branch is immeasurable,” Case said. “With the unprecedented level of accelerated federal spending necessitated by the COVID-19 crisis, there is a grave danger of abuse, fraud, insider trading, waste and profiteering that left unaddressed will seriously compromise our goals, diminish critical resources, destroy public trust and cost lives. Only the strongest, most credible, balanced, constant and committed oversight through independent Inspectors General will avoid these results.”

In The News

Health

Voting

Congress

House GOP Elects Trump Defender Stefanik to No. 3 Post
Congress
House GOP Elects Trump Defender Stefanik to No. 3 Post
May 14, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Republican House members handily elected Rep. Elise Stefanik, of New York, to the number three post in their conference leadership Friday, hoping her elevation will end an intra-party feud between allies of former President Donald Trump and his GOP detractors. With little suspense, Stefanik... Read More

House Reaches Bipartisan Agreement on Jan. 6 Commission
Congress
House Reaches Bipartisan Agreement on Jan. 6 Commission
May 14, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A House panel reached a bipartisan agreement Friday on legislation that will establish a 9/11-style commission to review events surrounding the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol. The deal reached by the House Homeland Security Committee means a vote on the Jan. 6... Read More

Uptick in Mental Health Problems Prompts Calls for Crisis Intervention
Mental Health
Uptick in Mental Health Problems Prompts Calls for Crisis Intervention
May 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Incidents the past few days in New York City demonstrate why a congressional subcommittee met Thursday to discuss “a national mental health crisis.” Last week, an emotionally disturbed man barricaded himself in a subway motorman’s car, shutting down train service on the rail line... Read More

House GOP Set to Put Trump Defender Stefanik Into No. 3 Post
Congress
House GOP Set to Put Trump Defender Stefanik Into No. 3 Post

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are ready to vault Rep. Elise Stefanik into the ranks of House leadership, with the party hoping to turn the page from its searing civil war over the deposed Rep. Liz Cheney and refocus on winning control of the chamber in next... Read More

Takeaways: Partisan Discord Instead of Jan. 6 Answers
Congress
Takeaways: Partisan Discord Instead of Jan. 6 Answers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House hearing about what went wrong in the Jan. 6 Capitol siege frequently spiraled into partisan shouting matches on Wednesday, with lawmakers more often blaming each other than thoroughly questioning witnesses about the events of the day.  Democrats and Republicans have so... Read More

Scrum of Challengers Awaits Cheney After House GOP Ouster
Congress
Scrum of Challengers Awaits Cheney After House GOP Ouster

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — For pro-Trump Republicans, removing Rep. Liz Cheney from House GOP leadership was relatively easy. Booting her from office will be another matter. The rush to punish Cheney for her criticism of former President Donald Trump and his loyalists is drawing a cast... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top