Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Tammy Baldwin led a group of her colleagues in sending President-elect Trump a letter calling for his cabinet nominees to disclose any payments they may receive from former employers that is contingent upon accepting a job in the federal government. Senator Baldwin was joined by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) in sending the letter.
“Mr. Trump, you made a promise to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington by reducing the influence of special interests in government. We urge you to not appoint foxes to guard the hen house. The American people cannot afford to have industry insiders writing their own rules to make a rigged system worse,” the Senators wrote. “Given the unique wealth and power of your nominees, we request that they provide additional information during the confirmation process in order to ensure that your Administration is free from conflicts of interest.”
In the letter, the Senators urge that all of President-elect Trump’s nominees do the following:
- Disclose any compensation or preferential treatment that they will receive from a company or organization for accepting a high-level government job. This buyout practice allows special interests to gain influence over federal officials who should be working only on behalf of the public interest.
- Provide documentation to Congress that explicitly details how they will recuse themselves from taking any actions relating to their former employers.
The Senators wrote to President-elect Trump, “Given your nominees’ experiences leading some of the world’s largest companies, we anticipate it will be difficult to mitigate conflicts of interest. We believe that expanded recusal requirements will be necessary and we ask that you explicitly detail how your nominees will recuse themselves from matters relating to their former employers or even industries.”
Source: WASHINGTON (WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017) -- Leahy