Rep. Huffman Offers Motion to Prevent Corrupt Interior Department Giveaways
Washington, D.C.- In light of the ongoing investigations into conflicts of interest at President Trump’s Department of the Interior, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) took to the floor today to offer a motion to prevent the Department of the Interior from giving away any publicly owned infrastructure to anyone who retained the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of the department as a lobbyist in the past three years. The Republican majority defeated Huffman’s Motion to Recommit on a party-line vote of 230-187.
“The underlying bill allows the Department of the Interior to dole out publicly owned infrastructure and other public assets to water districts. My amendment simply says the Interior Department can't give away public assets to a water district if that district has employed the Secretary or the Deputy Secretary of the Interior as a lobbyist in the previous three years. Put another way, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary can't give away public infrastructure to those who recently signed their lobbying paychecks. It should go without saying that this basic ethics requirement is needed. Particularly in this administration where conflicts of interest and corruption run so rampant. The Department of the Interior has been mired in scandals,” said Rep. Huffman on the House floor today.
“We must not allow such blatant conflicts of interest to stand. It's time for Congress to exercise some oversight over this administration and install some basic rules of accountability and ethics,” concluded Rep. Huffman.
Not only does Secretary Ryan Zinke face at least ten government investigations, but Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt was most recently employed as a federal lobbyist for a long list of clients with business before the Department, including clients who stand to gain with the passage of the underlying bill.
You can watch Rep. Huffman’s full floor speech here.