Federal Accountability

Watchdog Files Two Lawsuits Against HHS Seeking Records Regarding Administration’s Efforts to Roll Back Funding for Comprehensive Family Planning

On March 6, 2019, CfA, represented by American Oversight, filed two Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) seeking records regarding the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back Title X funding for comprehensive family planning services.

Bernhardt ethics probe sought over endangered fish rollback

"'Mr. Bernhardt exemplifies the definition of a revolving door official. Public officials should serve in government to carry out the public's interests, not the interests of their lobbying clients,' CFA Executive Director Daniel Stevens wrote in the request. 'Ethics officials should immediately investigate Mr. Bernhardt's actions and determine if he violated the ethics pledge.'"

Watchdog Calls for Investigation into Acting Interior Secretary’s Actions to Benefit Former Lobbying Client

On February 19, 2019, CfA called on ethics officials at the Interior Department and the Office of Government Ethics to investigate David Bernhardt, the Acting Secretary of the Department of the Interior, and his relationship with his former lobbying client, Westlands Water District, an agricultural conglomerate in California. While at Interior, Mr. Bernhardt initiated a review of Endangered Species Act protections for two endangered species of fish in California, an issue he advocated for while working as a lobbyist for Westlands.

Watchdog Files Complaint Against HHS Refugee Agency for Proselytizing, Impeding Access to Abortion

On December 17, 2018, CfA asked the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate the Office of Refugee Resettlement (“ORR”) and its former director, Scott Lloyd, for improperly obstructing a teenager’s access to reproductive healthcare and for providing her with religious counseling and materials – including Bible verses – while in ORR’s custody.

Ryan Zinke Taps Cousin Of Anti-Federal-Land Zealot For National Park Advisory Board

"Yet in the past he provided financial support to his cousin’s work. In 2012 he and his wife, Kathryn Ivory, made a $6,000 donation to a nonprofit called Where’s the Line, America? Foundation, according to documents HuffPost obtained from Campaign for Accountability, a watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Ken Ivory served as executive director of the group at the time of their contribution."

Don’t Be Too Excited by Zinke’s Potential Departure

"Bernhardt’s links to industry have remained so strong during his tenure as Deputy Secretary that he’s actually drawn complaints from ethics watchdogs that he’s illegally continued his lobby activities while serving as a government official. According to a Campaign for Accountability complaint, he submitted a draft executive order about water rights in California to WWD for edits. The organization also alleges that he continued his work advising WWD well into 2017."

Watchdog Calls on Sen. Grassley to Investigate Botched IG Appointment at Interior

On October 25, 2018, CfA asked Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Suzanne Israel Tufts, the Assistant Secretary for Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to replace Department of Interior Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall amid ongoing investigations into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s unethical behavior.

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