The Federal Inspector General is considered an independent watchdog of federal agencies, and while former President Donald Trump rewarded several inspectors in general last spring over vague inspections, President Biden must decide whether he can meet the criteria by taking out Trump’s picks. Will break and confirm them with the authorities as usual, the new York Times Report. The biggest dilemmas are, with Inspector General Eric Soskin of the Department of Transportation and former Trump White House lawyer Brian Miller appointed in 2020 to defame spending in the epidemic.
“Almost all the inspector generals since Congress established independent anti-corruption watchdog posts in 1978 were unanimously or without a record opposition confirmed by voice vote,” but only one Democrat voted to confirm Miller did, Times Report. With objections that he was so close to Trump, Miller has faced scrutiny in his first eight months for apparently undermining, although he submitted a report to Congress on Monday, which included some investigative work. “I try to be bipartisan and non-hostile – certainly as an inspector general and in everything I do,” Miller explained Times.
Soskin’s office, meanwhile, was investigating whether Trump’s transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, provided a federal grant to Kentucky to help in the re-election of her husband, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.R-K.) In December, the then majority leader McConnell, using his power, preferred Soskin’s confirmation to four other IGs ahead of him in line, Times Once Biden took office, ensuring that Republican appointees would control the office. Danielle Bryan, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, gave McConnell’s move for a time.
Oh, I should also mention that the alleged wrongdoing involves transportation trying to help her husband McConnell, yes the same person trying to push through confirmation today.
– Daniel Bryan (@daniellebrian) December 18, 2020
McConnell made two tries, but on 21 December he finally confirmed Souskin 48–47, the first party-line vote for an inspector general. Despite the apparent conflict of interest, Bryan removed Soskin and other Trump-appointed inspectors in general, saying “he would inevitably be facing the problems already posed.”
Soskin declined to comment on the status of the Chao-McConnell investigation of his office through a spokesperson. A McConnell spokesman pointed to a 2019 statement in which McConnell openly told Kentucky about his ability to funnel federal dollars.
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