House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s formation of a House Select Committee to investigate the Federal government’s response to the coronavirus is “pure politics”, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on “Fox & Friends” Friday.
Further, the GOP leader argued that there are three “oversight entities” included in the CARES Act that passed last Friday, including a pandemic oversight inspector general, a presidential appointee confirmed by the Senate, and a Congressional oversight appointee.
“What’s most telling here is who she appointed. She didn’t go with the Oversight Committee Chair, her own. She appointed Clyburn, and remember what Clyburn said, her Majority Whip, he said this is a time to restructure their vision, government,” McCarthy said.
Led by @WhipClyburn, the Select Committee will root out waste, fraud, and abuse, and ensure money makes it to those who need it most – the working families struggling to pay rent and put food on the table. #FamiliesFirst https://t.co/mlqwIZdA9O
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 2, 2020
McCarthy added, “This isn’t about oversight. It sounds like pure politics. Really the Speaker should be focused on what we need to deliver to the American public. Let’s take care of the crisis at hand right now. We have five different oversights already looking at this and this is what she comes up with?”
Pelosi announced the formation of the Committee during a conference call with reporters on Thursday. During the call, she confirmed that the committee will have the power to subpoena witnesses.
“The greatness of our nation is in its ability to rise to extraordinary challenges, no matter how big,” she said. “Now, at this time, we face this deadly virus and a battered economy with millions of American suddenly out of work. Congress has taken an important step in leading this crisis by passing three bills with over $2 trillion in emergency relief. We need to ensure those dollars are spent carefully and effectively.”
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Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Fortify Federal Bureaucracy Against Republican Presidency
In a strategic move, the Biden administration has unveiled a proposed rule aimed at reinforcing the left-leaning federal bureaucracy, potentially hindering future conservative policy implementations by Republican presidents. This move has raised concerns about the efficacy of democratic elections when a deep-seated bureaucracy remains largely unchanged, regardless of electoral outcomes.
Key points of the situation include:
Presidential Appointees vs. Career Bureaucrats: Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The vast majority, made up of career bureaucrats, continue in their roles from one administration to the next. This continuity is facilitated by rules that make it exceedingly difficult to discipline or replace them, resulting in a bureaucracy that tends to lean left politically.
Union Political Affiliation: A striking 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates support Democrats, according to Open Secrets, with only 5% favoring Republicans. This significant political skew among federal workers raises questions about the potential for political bias in the execution of government policies.
Obstructionism and Challenges for GOP Presidents: Some career bureaucrats have been accused of obstructing Republican presidents’ agendas, leading to policy delays and challenges. For example, during the Trump administration, career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declined to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants, prompting Trump to seek legal counsel from other divisions. The case was subsequently dropped when Joe Biden took office.
Biden’s Countermeasures: President Biden has taken steps to protect the bureaucracy’s status quo. In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order aiming to reclassify federal workers who make policy as at-will employees, but Biden canceled it upon taking office.
Proposed Rule and Congressional Actions: The rule unveiled by the Biden administration seeks to further impede a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Additionally, some Democrats in Congress are pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs entirely. This has been referred to as an attempt to “Trump-proof the federal workforce.”
Republican Candidates’ Pledge: GOP candidates such as President Donald J Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis have pledged to address this issue. According to reports from Fox News, Ramaswamy has gone further, advocating for the elimination of half or more of civil service positions, emphasizing the need for accountability.
Debate on the Merit of the Civil Service: While Democrats and their media allies argue that civil service protects merit over patronage, critics contend that the system has evolved into a form of job security for federal workers with minimal accountability. Federal employees often receive higher salaries and more substantial benefits than their private-sector counterparts.
In summary, the Biden administration’s proposed rule and broader actions to protect the federal bureaucracy have sparked a debate over the role of career bureaucrats in shaping government policy.
Republican candidates are vowing to address these concerns, highlighting the need for accountability and ensuring that government agencies work in alignment with the elected president’s agenda. This ongoing debate raises important questions about the relationship between the bureaucracy and the democratic process in the United States.
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