Chairwoman Maloney Calls on Government Accountability Office to Conduct Ongoing Oversight of Justice40 Implementation

Dec 15, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (December 15, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro, head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting that GAO conduct ongoing, in-depth oversight of the implementation of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which is intended to ensure that climate and clean infrastructure investments benefit frontline communities.  The letter also requests regular briefings to the Committee as part of GAO’s review. 


“As part of GAO’s oversight, I request that GAO review relevant environmental, racial, socio-economic, and labor standards that measure the equitable distribution of federal investments in order to fully assess the initiative’s progress, providing Congress the tools it needs to be an effective partner in ensuring its success,”  wrote Chairwoman Maloney. “I request that GAO provide ongoing oversight of this important initiative through periodic public reports through Fiscal Year 2026 and regular briefings to the Committee with findings and recommendations.”


Today’s letter requests that GAO review the Justice40 framework and agencies’ implementation plans, monitor agencies’ progress in meeting their plans, and report on GAO’s findings.  The letter highlights the Committee’s commitment to ensuring the Justice40 Initiative succeeds in targeting at least 40 percent of federal investments to disadvantaged communities​ and ​prioritizing climate action in frontline communities.


As a strong supporter of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, Chairwoman Maloney has made promoting environmental justice a major focus of the Committee on Oversight and Reform. 


On June 17, 2021, the Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing on job creation in frontline communities.


On July 21, 2021, the Committee held a hearing on the need for a whole-of-government response, strong federal data collection, and a voice for state and local partners in Justice40 implementation.


On August 26, 2021, the Committee hosted a field roundtable in Queens, New York’s “Asthma Alley” to hear from environmental justice leaders about how a Justice40 criterion built into investments can curb pollution and save lives in frontline communities.


On November 19, 2021, the House passed the Build Back Better Act, legislation containing several of the Committee’s priorities, including funding for GAO’s cross-cutting oversight of “whether the economic, social, and environmental impacts … are equitable,” as well as funding for the Office of Management and Budget to “track labor, equity, and environmental standards and performance” more broadly.  


Click here to read today’s letter.



117th Congress