GAO to examine HHS tweets

Julie Spitzer - Print  | 

The Government Accountability Office will review official HHS Twitter accounts, following allegations the agency misused federal funds by tweeting anti-ACA sentiments, reports The Hill.

In June, a group of four Democratic lawmakers, including Sens. Patty Murray, Wash., and Ron Wyden, Ore. with Reps. Frank Pallone Jr., N.J., and Richard Neal, Mass., requested the GAO review HHS tweets published on at least two official accounts — @HHSGov and @HHSMedia. They alleged the tweets "repeatedly" promoted the passage of the GOP's American Health Care Act by using the "popular Republican moniker" #RepealAndReplace.

The GAO accepted the request June 28, but the information was not made public until The Washington Post published the GAO's response letter Thursday.   

The lawmakers had pointed to the Consolidating Appropriations Act, which bans using federal funds to publish communications that support pending legislation, according to the June letter. They also claimed the tweets violate the Anti-Lobbying Act, which prohibits the use of federal funds from backing legislation Congress is currently considering — in this case, the AHCA.

"GAO accepts your request as work that is within the scope of its authority," reads the June 28 letter from Katherine Siggerud, managing director for congressional relations at the office.

There is no timeline for the review, but GAO Managing Director for congressional relations Katherine Siggerud identified Susan Poling, GAO general counsel, will begin the investigation shortly.

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