House Oversight Chief to Biden: It’s Time to Finally Nominate State, USAID and Treasury Watchdogs
Two of the positions have been vacant for more than 1,000 days, and the other has sat empty for over 850 days.
The House oversight chief is calling on President Biden to nominate individuals for the State, Treasury and U.S. Agency for International Development watchdog positions.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, sent a letter to Biden on Monday with concerns that these inspectors general positions are being held by temporary leadership. The State IG position has been vacant for over 1,000 days (after President Trump’s controversial firing of Steve Linick), USAID for over 850 days and Treasury for almost 1,500 days.
“We write to express our concern that these vacancies with no nominee are limiting transparency and holding back efforts to ensure the federal government is working as efficiently as possible on behalf of the American people,” Comer wrote on behalf of his committee members. “Ongoing vacancies weaken IG offices, because temporary leadership is not well-suited for long-term planning and decision making.”
Comer said the committee is especially concerned about the vacancies for the State and USAID inspectors general as the respective agencies are dealing with the “invasion of Ukraine by Russia, civil unrest in Sudan, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and increased aggression by China, Iran, and North Korea.” While there was a nominee during the last session of Congress for USAID IG (Nicole Angarella, then-USAID IG general counsel, now acting deputy IG performing the duties of the IG), Biden has yet to renominate her.
As for the Treasury IG, the prolonged vacancy could “hamper robust oversight of COVID-19 related spending and mitigation of financial risk and instability,” Comer said.
Last month, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and a long-time advocate for government oversight, and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s panel on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight, sent a similar letter to Biden. In addition to the State, Treasury and USAID IGs, they also called for nominees for the National Security Agency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation IGs, as well as the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
The White House did not immediately respond for comment.