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Alabama congressman admits he pays no attention to oversight

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said he cannot possibly keep track of all of the ethics issues in the Trump administration, so he does not even bother to try to fulfill his constitutional oversight duty as a member of Congress. He told CNN’s New Day on Friday that he pays “very little attention to” White House personnel issues. 

Brooks was asked by host Alisyn Camerota whether embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt should be fired over his myriad ethics scandals, but said he has “no judgment on that one.”

“There are so many personnel matters involved with the executive branch, I can’t possibly keep track of them all,” Brooks explained. “I’m doing my best to make sure I understand public policy well enough to be able to cast good votes for our country. That’s where my focus in. These personnel matters, I pay very little attention to.”

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Of course, while Brooks is correct that he has shown little interest in oversight since Trump took office, he had a different view during the Obama years. In 2011, he co-sponsored a resolution of no-confidence in then-Attorney General Eric Holder. Two years later, he did the same thing again. In 2014, he cheered the resignation of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki as a “good first step.” And in a 2015 tribute to the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, he opined: “The actions against the rule of law by President Obama, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, top officials in the IRS, and others, remind us that to maintain a free Republic, we must remain vigilant in our fight against tyranny.”

Brooks’ lack of concern with Pruitt’s apparent misuse of taxpayer dollars — reportedly circumventing the White House to provide pay increases to top staffers and using his security detail for vacations to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl — is also ironic, given that he is a member of the Congressional Balanced Budget Amendment Conference, has railed against excess government spending,  and boasts of his ranking with the Alabama Taxpayers’ Defense Fund.

In his unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate last year, Brooks ironically claimed: “Big-moneyed lobbyists and special interest groups peddle influence with corrupt elected officials. Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have refused to play their nefarious games. As your next Senator, I will fight to ‘Drain the Swamp’ by standing up to the corruption and powerful special interests who bribe, bully, and threaten elected officials into doing their bidding.”


This post is from ThinkProgress. Click here to read the full text

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