Congress Must Protect Federal WatchdogsThe Hill
By Keith Ashdown, former Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee staff director and Dan Lips, Director of Cyber and National Security Policy
President Trump recently fired several of the federal government’s most respected inspectors general–prompting a rare outcry of bipartisan criticism of the White House. Congressional Democrats were instinctively quick to condemn the president’s actions. But several prominent Republicans, including Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Rob Portman (Ohio), and Sen. James Lankford (Oklahoma), urged President Trump to end his war against federal watchdogs.
The White House has doubled down its opposition to independent oversight, dismissing State Department IG Steve Linick last month, a well-regarded official with impeccable credentials. In all, President Trump has fired or demoted at least four of these vital watchdogs.
This week, the Government Accountability Office issued a new report offering Congress a roadmap of recommendations for how to protect federal watchdogs. “Given the current challenges facing the federal government,” Comptroller General Gene Dodaro wrote, “the oversight provided through independent government audits and investigations is more critical than ever.”
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