Foxx, Comer: No Political Union Should Pull Levers of Government Power
Chastise Biden Administration for Use of Ethics Waivers to Bring Union Advocates with Conflicts of Interests into Influential Positions
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 15, 2021
Today, House Committee on Education and Labor Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) wrote Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Acting Director Kathleen McGettigan regarding the Biden administration’s use of ethics waivers to bring union influence into the federal bureaucracy.
The Republicans are raising alarms at President Biden’s Executive Order 13989 and the appointments of former American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) employee Celeste Drake to be Director of the Made in America Office at OMB and former American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) employee Alethea Predeoux to be Director of the Office of Congressional, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at OPM. The executive order allows former union leaders, like Drake and Predeoux, to serve in administration positions in which they will interact directly with their former employers — thus creating a problematic situation in which the unions can directly benefit from Biden administration policies.
“By appointing former union officials to positions that directly interact with their former employers, unions stand to directly benefit from Biden administration policies. This is alarming considering the devastating effect teachers unions have had on the educational prospects of so many of our nation’s children,” wrote the Republican leaders.
“Within a month of President Biden taking office, the American Federation of Teachers — a political union — was able to successfully influence scientists at the CDC to amend official guidance with the goal of keeping children out of the classroom. The revised guidance was contrary to science and contrary to the public interest. It is unclear the extent other unions have infiltrated the highest ranks of the administration,” continued Foxx and Comer. “No political union should hold the levers of government power, but all indicators are that President Biden caves to the unions to the detriment of our children.”
In the letters, the Republican leaders requested all documents and communications regarding the granting of waivers for appointees within OMB, including waivers, recusals, or divestitures related to Executive Order 13989. In addition, the Republicans are requesting documents and communications regarding Drake and Predeoux, including communications in their current positions and their former employees. The Republicans are requesting any documents or communications regarding Drake’s and Predeoux’s participation in drafting or approving regulations or guidance; contracts or grants; Presidential documents; and documents of administration policy.
The letter to Acting OPM Director McGettigan is available here.
The letter to Acting OMB Director Young is available here.