WASHINGTON — Today, Subcommittee on Environment Ranking Member Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Oversight Republicans raised concerns over reports indicating the Biden Administration is inappropriately awarding taxpayer-funded government contracts and loans to political allies with a history of donating to Democrats and President Biden’s 2020 campaign. In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young, the lawmakers requested all documents and communications between OMB, various federal agencies, and certain Democrat donors, who have received lucrative government contracts, in an effort to ensure that the Biden Administration is not rewarding political allies to the detriment of the taxpayers.
“We are conducting oversight of the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) role in ensuring that government contracts and loans are not inappropriately awarded to President Biden’s political donors. Media reports indicate a pattern of businesses associated with donors receiving substantial amounts of taxpayer money. To ensure that political donations are not unduly influencing the Administration’s management of contracts and loans, we request documents and information about what, if any, safeguards and procedures are in place to protect taxpayers,” wrote the lawmakers.
On September 22, 2021, Joe Kiani, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Masimo was appointed to the President’s Council on Science and Technology (PCAST). Mr. Kiani is a prolific Democratic donor, contributing over $1 million to the Biden Foundation in 2017, $750,000 to the pro-Biden super PAC Unite the Country, and $1 million to the Biden Inaugural Committee. In addition to receiving an appointment to PCAST, Mr. Kiani’s company Masimo has received nearly $3 million in federal government contracts since January 2021. In January 2022, Committee Republicans also sent a letter to the International Development Finance Institution (IDFC) requesting information on Lukas Walton, another top Biden donor, who was heavily invested in a company that received the largest government loan in the history of the IDFC.
“While Masimo has received government contracts in previous Administrations, Mr. Kiani’s close ties to President Biden, including an appointment to a White House board creates the appearance that he is benefiting from his political contributions. Mr. Kiani is not the only political donor to receive taxpayer money from this Administration… Awarding lucrative government contracts to companies led by large Democratic donors is becoming a troubling Biden Administration pattern and raises questions about whether political contributions play a role in the decision to award federal taxpayer dollars,” continued the lawmakers. “Given Mr. Kiani and Mr. Walton’s history of political donations to Democrats, the government contracts and loans companies associated with them received raise questions as to whether the Administration is playing favorites with political donors.”
Read the letter here