Democrats Play Politics with GAO Comptroller Nomination

Published: Jan 24, 2010

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressional Democrats today sent a list of several candidates whom they are recommending to the President for appointment as the next Comptroller General.  Their letter derails attempts to develop a slate of candidates that should have been agreed to on a bipartisan basis by the statutory Commission charged with making this recommendation to the President.

“President Obama has a choice to make, he can either follow the unfortunate and partisan path put forward by Congressional Democrats by nominating an ideologue like Linda Bilmes or he can uphold GAO’s appropriate role as a nonpartisan and neutral broker,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  “At the end of the day, the politicization of the GAO will be met with hostility and will not withstand Senate confirmation.”

The Commission, established by law to provide at least three recommended candidates to the President for the vacant Comptroller General position, consists of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The Comptroller General serves as the leader of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The office of Comptroller General has been vacant since March 2008 when former Comptroller General David M. Walker resigned. Following a nomination by the President, the Senate must approve the appointment.