Committee Passes Legislation to ‘Ban the Box,’ Support Transparency, and Protect Inspectors General
Washington, DC (Mar. 26, 2019)—Today, the Committee on Oversight and Reform passed multiple bills to improve government ethics, protect federal inspectors general, and help formerly-incarcerated people obtain non-sensitive federal jobs.
The bill would help formerly-incarcerated individuals obtain non-sensitive federal jobs by prohibiting federal agencies and contractors from asking about the criminal history of a job applicant until after making a conditional offer of employment.
This legislation is supported by the following organizations: Justice Action Network (JAN), FreedomWorks, Center for American Progress (CAP), National Employment Law Project (NELP), Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The Subcommittees on Government Operations and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing on the bill on March 13, 2019. On February 13, 2019, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in the Senate ordered the bill reported on a voice vote.
The bill, as amended, passed the Committee by voice vote.
The bill would require Presidents-elect to publicly release ethics plans for their transition teams that contain certain core requirements, such as prohibiting transition team members from working on matters involving personal conflicts of interest. H.R. 964 passed the House on March 8, 2019, as part of H.R. 1. The Committee held a hearing on the provisions of H.R. 1 in its jurisdiction on February 6, 2019.
The bill, as amended, passed the Committee by a recorded vote of 18-12.
The bill would reauthorize the Office of Government Ethics, strengthen its ability to establish and oversee ethics policy for the executive branch, and provide it with independent authority to investigate ethics violations.
H.R. 745 passed the House as part of H.R. 1 on March 8, 2019. The Committee held a hearing on the provisions of H.R. 1 in its jurisdiction on February 6, 2019.
The bill, as amended, passed the Committee by a recorded vote of 18-15.
The legislation would amend the Former Presidents Act of 1958 to cap a former President’s annual pension at $200,000. In addition, the bill would provide an annual allowance of $200,000 for the conduct of the duties of former presidents. Both the pension and allowance amounts would be indexed to inflation.
The bill, as amended, passed the Committee by unanimous consent.
The bill would require notification of Congress in advance of an Inspector General (IG) being placed in a paid or unpaid non-duty status (administrative leave). The bill would also require the President to report to Congress if an IG has not been nominated within 210 days after a vacancy occurs for the position, including the reasons the nomination has not been made and a target date for doing so.
The bill, as amended, passed the Committee by a voice vote.
Click here for Chairman Cummings’ prepared opening statements for each bill.
Click here to watch today’s business meeting.