WASHINGTON, DC (June 9, 2022)— Former OMB Director Russ Vought and current president of the Center for Renewing America, sent a letter to current OMB Director Shalanda Young detailing why he believes the current approach to implementing the March 2021 executive order, Promoting Access to Voting, would put federal employees in jeopardy of breaking the law.
“On March 7, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14019, titled “Promoting Access to
Voting.” This order required every federal agency to submit an action plan to the White House
detailing efforts those agencies will take to “promote voter registration and voter participation.”
“As you know, 31 U.S.C. §§ 1341-1355, the Anti-Deficiency Act (“ADA”), specifically prohibits
federal employees and officers from making or authorizing expenditures, obligations, or
contracts beyond what Congress has appropriated for a given purpose. Subject to certain
exceptions, federal employees and officers are also prohibited from accepting voluntary services
provided to government agencies. See 31 U.S.C. § 1342,” the letter further read.
“In recent months, agencies have slowly begun responding to outside requests to make their plans for complying with this order public and transparent,” Vought wrote to Young in the letter obtained by Federal News Network. “What we have seen thus far is of deep concern. Some of these plans provide that agencies will expend federal taxpayer funds or other resources and partner with preapproved outside organizations in order to satisfy the Biden administration’s directive to engage in voter registration efforts.”
The Anti-Deficiency Act prohibits agencies from spending money without appropriations. There are some recognized exemptions too.
Inviting White House-preapproved outside organizations to volunteer their time and efforts on federal property in furtherance of the administration’s stated policy of increasing voter registration and participation could be seen as a violation of the ADA,” he wrote.
A Center for Renewing America spokesperson added the concern is that federal civil servants could put themselves in jeopardy if they participate in voter registration activities.
An OMB spokesperson declined to comment on the letter.
Source: Federal Network News wrote the original article.