Heroes Act Includes Top Oversight Committee Priorities
Washington, D.C. (May 12, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after The Heroes Act was introduced in the House of Representatives:
“I am very proud that so many priorities of the Committee on Oversight and Reform were included in this bill. The Postal Service needs immediate emergency assistance, and this bill would provide funding to ensure that it can continue serving the American people through this crisis. In addition, recognizing that Congress has a constitutional responsibility to help ensure a fair and accurate Census, this bill extends key deadlines as a result of the coronavirus crisis while enhancing congressional oversight of Census operations. Finally, in response to the Administration fighting oversight tooth and nail, this bill includes protections to promote the independence of Inspectors General and help them hold agencies accountable.”
The Heroes Act, H.R. 6800, includes several provisions offered by Chairwoman Maloney and Committee Democrats, including Subcommittee on Government Operations Chairman Gerry Connolly and Vice Chairman Jimmy Gomez:
- Emergency Funding for the Postal Service: The bill would provide the Postal Service with $25 billion in emergency funding to avoid entering into bankruptcy and shuttering operations at a time when American lives depend on it every single day. The bill also would provide $15 million for the Inspector General to conduct oversight of this funding, and it would provide additional protections for postal workers.
- Additional Oversight of Census: The bill would implement a request from the Administration to delay the publication of apportionment and state redistricting data by 120 days as a result of the coronavirus crisis, but it would couple this extension with a requirement for the Census Bureau to provide monthly detailed operational reports to the Oversight Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate.
- Stronger Protections for Inspectors General: The bill would allow Inspectors General to be removed only for specified causes, including permanent incapacity, inefficiency, neglect of duty, malfeasance, felony conviction, conduct involving moral turpitude, knowing violation of a law, rule, or regulation, gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, or abuse of authority.
- Additional Flexibility for Pandemic Response Accountability Committee: The bill would provide the Chair of the Council of Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency with greater flexibility in choosing a Chair of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee by expanding the range of eligible officials to all Inspectors General on the Accountability Committee.
- Enhanced Federal Worker Protections: The bill would require agencies to allow employees and contractors to telework during the coronavirus crisis if their work can be conducted remotely in order to protect employees for the country’s largest employer—the federal government.