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Pallone & Grijalva Request Investigation into Secretary Zinke

Jul 27, 2017
Press Release
Zinke Allegedly Threatened Alaska’s Senators Over Health Care Vote

Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and Natural Resources Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) sent letters to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Department of Interior (DOI) Inspector General’s office today requesting investigations into whether recent actions by members of the Trump Administration, including those of DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke, are part of a larger effort within the Administration to advocate for health care proposals pending before Congress.  The members’ letters also request a formal determination regarding possible legal violations as a result of Secretary Zinke’s actions.

“Yesterday’s phone calls by Secretary Zinke occurred shortly after President Trump’s tweet expressing displeasure with Senator Murkowski, and just one day after DOE Secretary Perry generated concerns of impropriety with an editorial weighing in on the health care debate,” Pallone and Grijalva wrote in their letter to the DOI Deputy Inspector General.  “The close timing of these actions suggests an apparent pattern and organized effort within the Trump Administration involving the use of federal resources to advance partisan legislation.  We request your office investigate whether such a pattern or organized effort exists, whereby Secretary Zinke is advocating for health care proposals pending before Congress.”  

In their letter to GAO, Pallone and Grijalva asked the agency to investigate whether a pattern existed not just with Secretary Zinke but other members of the Trump Administration, including members of the President’s Cabinet and their staff.

Yesterday, Pallone wrote to GAO to request an investigation into Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s potential misuse of taxpayer funds to criticize the Affordable Care Act.  The members’ letter expresses concern that this may be part of an emerging pattern of behavior from the Trump Administration.

A copy of the letter to GAO is available here.

A copy of the letter to DOI’s Inspector General is available here.