Grijalva, McEachin Urge Trump to Appoint Interior Department Inspector General – Post Has Lacked Permanent Appointee for 8 Years

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent a letter to President Trump today urging him to appoint an inspector general (IG) at the Department of the Interior (DOI), which has gone more than eight years without a full appointee in the position.

The full letter is available at http://bit.ly/2ttPybk.

Republicans have politicized the position for years, as Grijalva and McEachin write:

After the previous IG vacated the position, acting IG Mary Kendall was nominated in 2015. However, attacks on her integrity by Congressional Republicans derailed her nomination, despite two investigations by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency as well as the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General, both of which found nothing. [. . .] The baseless attacks on Ms. Kendall politicized the Office of the DoI IG and the impacts of that interference must be remedied.

“The Department will be most effective and efficient when there is adequate oversight of its operations,” they add.

DOI’s lack of a permanent inspector general is part of a broad pattern that holds across federal agencies. As of an April 30 analysis by the Washington Examiner,

Eleven federal agencies currently have acting inspectors general, and one — the Federal Election Commission — does not have any watchdog in place, according to the Council on Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. Trump has not nominated a single inspector general since taking office and has, in fact, withdrawn his predecessor's four pending inspector general nominees, although it is customary for incoming administrations to withdraw.

While Republicans have tried to blame Senate Democrats for the chronic lack of staffing plaguing federal agencies, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke admitted at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing last Thursday that difficulty complying with requirements by the Office of Government Ethics, not any political resistance, was causing the delay.

Press Contact

Media Contact: Adam Sarvana (Grijalva)

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile

Jamitress Bowden (McEachin)

(202) 225-6365 or (202) 306-0546 mobile