Lawmakers seek to keep tabs on politicking by feds
- By Aisha Chowdhry
- Jul 21, 2016
Top lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requested information from 18 executive branch agencies on how they are complying with the Hatch Act, which puts strict limits on the ability of federal employees to conduct political activity while acting in their official capacity.
Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the committee's chairman and ranking member, respectively, sent letters to agencies asking about how travel and other costs are paid for officials who take trips that include both official and political activities.
"We are writing to determine how your agency or your office makes decisions about how to structure official trips to comply with the Hatch Act and other applicable laws," the letter states.
It also mentions the president's recent political campaign appearance in North Carolina and asks whether he and other officials plan to attend similar events this year and how those trips would be paid for.
The letter comes the same week the U.S. Office of Special Counsel advised the White House that a news interview given by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro violated the Hatch Act.
Aisha Chowdhry is a former staff writer for FCW.