Lawmakers to Obama: Hire More Government Watchdogs

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pressing the White House to hire some inspectors general.

Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I., Conn.), Susan Collins (R., Maine), Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) and Rob Portman (R., Ohio,) and Reps. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), Elijah Cummings (D., Md.), John Tierney (D., Mass.) and Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) have signed a joint letter to President Barack Obama expressing concern over the number of watchdog vacancies.

There are currently nine IG positions that are vacant, including at the departments of State, Labor, Justice, Housing and Urban Development and Homeland Security. Jobs overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, intelligence community, Afghanistan reconstruction and Corporation for National and Community Service are also open.

"Many of these vacancies involve departments and agencies responsible for oversight of several of your Administration's most important initiatives," says the letter sent Tuesday.

"We have serious concerns that the lack of permanent Inspectors General at so many federal agencies is impeding the federal government's efforts to increase efficiencies and prevent waste, fraud and abuse. With this concern in mind, we respectfully request that you move without delay to appoint qualified, experienced individuals to serve as Inspectors General," the lawmakers say.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement "the Administration is committed to strong Inspector Generals, and we are working diligently to identify highly qualified candidates to fill these important posts."

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