Dems seek review of HHS #RepealAndReplace tweets

Julie Spitzer - Print  | 

Four Democratic lawmakers called for an investigation into the partisanship of HHS tweets in a June 14 letter to Gene L. Dodaro, comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office.

Sens. Patty Murray, Wash., and Ron Wyden, Ore., with Reps. Frank Pallone Jr., N.J., and Richard Neal, Mass., alleged at least two official HHS Twitter accounts — @HHSGov and @HHSMedia — have "repeatedly" promoted the passage of the GOP's American Health Care Act, which is pending before Congress.

 The lawmakers highlighted tweets using the "popular Republican moniker" #RepealAndReplace. The lawmakers also commented on the reposting of content produced by third parties, such as @HHSMedia retweeting a Fox & Friends video clip on March 24 of HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, urging Congress to pass the AHCA.

"We are especially concerned by these actions because they appear to continue a pattern of behavior by the Department of using federal resources to advance partisan legislation," the letter reads.

The lawmakers pointed to the Consolidating Appropriations Act, which bans using federal funds to publish communications that support pending legislation, according to the 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.

"We therefore request that the GAO review these matters for compliance with the appropriations laws that ban certain electronic communications, covert propaganda and grass roots lobbying," the letter concludes.

Click here to view the full letter.

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