The President of the United States, as the leader of a democracy, should welcome statutory oversight of the executive branch and encourage all agencies to take reasonable recommendations seriously. Donald Trump viewed oversight as shackles on his autocratic aspirations and spying eyes on his devious plots, and so he spent four years weakening efforts to maintain the public trust. Fortunately, President Joe Biden is now turning it all around.
The Biden administration announced today that it will issue directives to federal agencies to cooperate even more closely with inspectors general (IGs). A new memo from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reveals that an internal review found that many agencies were not properly doing so, according to a report from NBC News. This is no surprise, given the recent influence of Trump’s egomania and disdain for accountability.
OMB Deputy Director Jason Miller made clear that one of his first tasks was to fix and strengthen the vital relationships between agencies and their IGs. Trump was quick to attack, remove, and replace IGs, booting as many as five IGs in six weeks last year. Intelligence Community IG Michael Atkinson lost his job for doing his job—alerting Congress to a whistleblower complaint about Trump’s communications with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, which led to Trump’s first impeachment.
Biden’s new directives will solicit and value IG oversight, and they will outline best practices to ensure that whistleblowers get the protection that they deserve and that an enduring democracy needs. In addition, Biden is nominating new IGs for several open positions, in part to patch up the oversight holes that Trump blew open as he defiled his office.
Thanks to President Biden’s ambitions and Democratic leadership, the United States may soon begin applying trillions of dollars toward building back better. The idea that Americans should know that the government is spending their tax dollars prudently and in compliance with the law should not be controversial. After four years of the Trump regime, the Biden administration is proving it welcomes and values accountability. A new era of public trust has begun.