WASHINGTON –During this week’s debate on our nation’s spending priorities, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) continued to keep his colleagues focused on efforts to cut waste, fraud and abuse across Washington.
Last night, the Senate unanimously adopted a Boozman amendment to fill vacancies in offices of Inspectors General (IG).
“IG’s are taxpayers’ first line of defense against waste, fraud and abuse in Washington. The fact that several agencies have gone years without a permanent watchdog is inexcusable. My amendment paves the way for future legislation to address these vacancies, while strengthening and reforming the IG community,” Boozman said.
Boozman highlighted the agencies that currently have IG vacancies, noting that the Department of Interior IG has been without a permanent watchdog for over 2,200 days and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been without an IG for over a year.
“The IG vacancy at VA is especially troubling given the systematic failures that have plagued the Department in recent years. Congress has passed legislation to address the scandal at VA, where veterans have been mistreated and have died while waiting for care, yet the Department doesn’t have a permanent watchdog in place to make sure these reforms are carried out. This lack of accountability makes it easier to sweep misconduct under the rug, which puts veterans at risk,” Boozman said.
Boozman also pointed out that a Presidential nomination is required to fill most of the vacant IG spots. This effort should turn up the heat on the President to take action.
“The Senate sent a clear bipartisan message that these vacancies are unacceptable. We must push the President to work with Congress to install permanent watchdogs across the government to effectively carry out the mission that they have been tasked,” Boozman said.
The Boozman Amendment (#348) to the concurrent budget resolution puts the Senate on record and paves the way for future legislation to address this issue.