Appropriations Democrats Call on Speaker Ryan to Address Trump Administration Conflicts of Interest
Appropriations Democrats Call on Speaker Ryan to
Address Trump Administration Conflicts of Interest
House Must Not Turn Blind Eye to Potential Conflicts
Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee today called on Speaker Paul Ryan to take immediate steps to ensure the House of Representatives does not provide a forum for members of the Trump Administration to take official actions unduly influenced by private financial interests.
“President Trump has nominated individuals with unprecedented wealth and complex financial interests to serve in his Cabinet,” said Appropriations Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY). “The absolute least that the House of Representatives should do is provide full transparency and assurance to the public that Congress is not turning a blind eye to potential conflicts of interest.”
Lowey yesterday offered an amendment to the Committee rules package requiring Administration witnesses testifying before the Committee to provide written certification that they are complying with Ethics Agreements reached with the Office of Government Ethics. These agreements are critical to ensure cabinet secretaries and department heads are divesting and shielding themselves from financial interests that could create an actual or apparent conflict of interest in their official duties.
The amendment was rejected on a party-line vote of 22-28.
Coming on the heels of the Republican majority’s attempts to undercut the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Office of Government Ethics, the Democrats wrote, “We are extremely concerned that through these actions, both the Congressional majority and the President are sending the signal that ethics and honest do not matter. They do matter.”