Republicans respond to OMB investigation
Republican House members weighed in on a new House investigation into allegations that officials at the Office of Management and Budget told an inspector general that they'd "make life miserable" for him if he complained to Congress about his budget.
"The troubling nature of the allegations contained in IG McFarland's letter requires a full and complete investigation," Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) wrote to White House Counsel Bob Bauer.
"If a dynamic exists in which the independence of an IG is being separately or simultaneously compromised by OMB personnel and agency leadership, immediate measures to repair the situation are required," Issa and Chaffetz wrote. The pair are ranking Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Office of Personnel Management Inspector General Patrick E. McFarland informed the committee's Democratic leadership on Monday that his agency's budget office received a "not so veiled threat from OMB" against telling Congress of concerns about its budget.
A 2008 federal law allows inspectors general to inform Congress if they believe their proposed budgets would inhibit oversight duties. The law was designed to protect watchdogs from top agency officials that might cut watchdog budgets in retaliation for hard-hitting investigations.
Committee chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) informed OMB that he intends to investigate the matter and OMB has promised a full internal investigation.
| January 13, 2010; 5:45 PM ET
Categories: Congress, Oversight
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