If you can’t win the game, just change the rules.
That seems to be the strategy being employed by the White House as President Joe Biden waives ethics rules to allow former union leaders who are now working in his administration to maintain lines of communication with the unions they once represented. Now, according to Fox News, Republicans are calling him out on it.
“Pattern of corruption”
The waivers granted by the Biden administration reportedly gave at least two ex-union officials who are now on the White House payroll the greenlight to keep talking with their former unions, despite longstanding ethics rules barring the practice.
According to Fox, the White House has said the waivers are “necessary” and “in the public interest” as the administration seeks to strengthen relationships with labor unions. But Republicans, including National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesperson Katharine Cooksey, think there may be something more nefarious at play here.
“The pattern of corruption between Democrats and big union bosses is obvious — just follow the money and follow the staff,” Cooksey said in a statement to Fox News.
A pair of waivers
The two staffers who received waivers from the administration to skirt ethics guidelines included Alethea Predeoux, a senior official in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Before joining the Biden administration, Predeoux was a top lobbyist for the American Federation of Government Employees, which consists of roughly 700,000 federal workers, according to Fox.
Celeste Drake, meanwhile, went from working for the Director’s Guild of America and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) to leading the White House’s Made in America Office, Fox reported.
Biden and unions
The news of these waivers has prompted concern among those on the right who worry the labor groups are helping drive Biden’s policymaking. Just last week, reports indicated that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), one of our country’s largest teachers unions, may have had an outsized impact on recently released guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on reopening schools in the wake of the coronavirus.
This is just one issue currently plaguing the Biden administration as they struggle to grapple with vaccine distribution, economic recovery, and a growing crisis at the southern border. But just because the president has been busy doesn’t mean Cooksey and others in the GOP will be letting him off the hook.
“Since the very first day of the Biden administration, every single Democrat has echoed the same union-approved talking points to keep schools closed and to jam a radical, job-killing agenda through Congress,” the NRSC spokeswoman told Fox. “While Republicans are working to get kids back in the classrooms and the economy moving again, Democrats are taking orders from their bosses at the unions to keep schools closed and stifle job opportunities.”
What else might be going on behind the scenes in Washington?