O’Halleran calls for continuing ethics compliance
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz, commented on the recent efforts by the Trump administration to follow long-standing ethics rules after being pressed by members of Congress in a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
“Congress serves as a check and balance on executive power, and I am proud to have led efforts to hold the president accountable. I urge full disclosure of ethics waivers for political appointees who may be former lobbyists who now hold positions of great power,” O’Halleran said. “While this is a step in the right direction, the administration has chosen to selectively release waivers for certain appointees. If the president is committed to ‘draining the swamp,’ he must lead by example and disclose every waiver his administration has granted.”
Following letters from the director of the Office of Government Ethics and 60 lawmakers — led by O’Halleran — the White House released a list of waivers issued to political appointees in the White House whose previous employment may otherwise violate executive branch ethics rules. O’Halleran and his colleagues expect individual federal agencies to respond to the Office of Government Ethics’ letter as well.
“Waivers should be the rare exception, not the norm in any administration,” O’Halleran said. “The spirit and intent of ethics rules are rendered meaningless if waivers are considered business as usual. Moreover, the norm should be that these waivers are made public so the American people can evaluate how their government operates.”