Chair Castor Joins Push To Protect Inspectors General Amid COVID Crisis
WASHINGTON (April 9, 2020) - Chair Kathy Castor (D-FL) of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis signed a joint letter on Friday underscoring her support for the nation's Inspectors General, who have been subjected to unprecedented political attacks by President Trump in the midst of a national health crisis.
The letter - led by House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, signed by 22 House Chairs, and addressed to Michael E. Horowitz, Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency - cites grave concerns over President Trump’s attempts to undermine the independence and integrity of watchdogs across the government.
“Unlike any President in modern history, President Trump has engaged in offensive and unjustified attacks against Inspectors General, criticizing them for following the law, and retaliating against them for telling the truth,” the Chairs said in the letter.
Over the past two weeks, President Trump has taken several actions against IGs, including:
removing the newly-appointed Chair of Pandemic Response Accountability Committee,
publicly attacking the Principal Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services for reporting on hospital supply shortages during the coronavirus crisis, and
firing the Intelligence Community Inspector General because he is “not a Trump fan” and because he followed the law in alerting the congressional intelligence committees that the whistleblower complaint, which revealed the President’s abuse of power that ultimately led to his impeachment, was being withheld from Congress.
“Each one of these actions by the President would raise significant concerns by itself. Together, they reflect a campaign of political retaliation and reward that is antithetical to good government, undermines the proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars, and degrades the federal government’s ability to function competently,” the Chairs concluded.
The letter seeks input from the IG Council on legislative proposals, including a legislative proposal to limit the removal of IGs to certain “good cause” conditions. Chair Maloney made the proposed legislation public on Friday.
Read the full letter here.