The Courts are busy promoting a greater imperial presidency right now, America

Adding a troubling new twist, a DOJ opinion builds on a harmful and long-standing executive branch policy that diminishes congressional oversight authority.
Judge striking a gavel

Limits Placed on Congressional Oversight

In May, a legally binding opinion by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) was made public, stating that individual Members of Congress “do not have the authority to conduct oversight” of the executive branch.

The opinion builds on a harmful and long-standing executive branch policy that diminishes congressional oversight authority, with what appears to be a troubling new twist.

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SEC BuildingFinancial Sector Oversight Will Be Harmed by New Legislation

Legislation is moving through Congress that would put the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) invaluable whistleblower program in jeopardy.

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White HouseUnderstanding the Anti-Lobbying Law

Despite the plain language of anti-lobbying bans, a narrow interpretation by the DOJ has given executive branch employees a lot of leeway in influencing the legislative process.

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F-35 in a hangarPOGO Statement on F-35 Economic Order Quantity (Block Buy) Legislative Proposal

The Pentagon is pushing ahead with its plans for an F-35 block buy as part of its 2018 National Defense Authorization Act proposal. While hardly unexpected, this move is deeply troubling.

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Capitol HillWatchdog Positions Still Vacant Under Trump Administration

The Trump administration has continued to ignore filling permanent inspectors general positions, with some vacancies lasting over two years.

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U.S. DollarStrengthening Financial Integrity of Federal Agencies

The federal government needs to improve the accuracy and completeness of improper payment identification and estimation.

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Military and businessmanThey’re Baaack! The Military Resurrects Its Wish Lists

The military always wants more of pretty much everything. That leaves it up to the civilians running the Defense Department, backed by the White House, to balance risks and requirements.

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POGO in the News

The New York Times

NYT Editorial Cites POGO Database: Mr. Trump Goes After the Inspectors

Today nearly one-quarter of inspector general offices have either an acting director or no director at all, including the offices at the C.I.A., the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense and the Social Security Administration. Acting directors can be reluctant to make extensive changes or take bold action, particularly if they hope to be nominated for a permanent appointment.
Bloomberg BNA

Ex-House Chair Working on Pensions as Lobbyist Now

“Longer cooling-off periods would slow down the revolving door and curb efforts to hire former legislators to obtain competitive advantage and influence government laws, policies, and spending,” Scott Amey, general counsel for the Washington-based consumer watchdog Project on Government Oversight, told Bloomberg BNA.
Washington Monthly

Trump’s Plan to Make Government Older, More Expensive, and More Dysfunctional

A 2011 study by the Project on Government Oversight found that, benefits included, a contractor costs the government nearly twice as much on average as a federal employee.
War is Boring

Saudi Arabia Duped American Veterans Into Lobbying Congress

Because of weak enforcement of foreign lobbying laws, in 2016 and 2017 U.S. military veterans lobbied on behalf of Saudi Arabia — without knowing they were doing so. Their multi-million-dollar lobbying effort included 22 different firms. This according to Project on Government Oversight investigator Lydia Dennett, working in conjunction with Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson.

Government Executive

National Guard Whistleblower Wins Vindication from Pentagon Watchdog

“It took bipartisan intervention by Senators McCaskill and Grassley, along with press attention, for his case to receive a review. It’s a great outcome in this case, but a system that relies on two senators to intervene to work isn’t providing real protections for whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing,” said Mandy Smithberger, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight.


About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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