Has HHS Violated the Hatch Act (Prohibiting Use of Federal Resources for Federal Campaigns)?

In November 2011, President Obama traveled to several states and engaged in an obvious campaign “stump speech” using the phrase “we can’t wait.” His charge is that Congress was not moving his agenda (the truth is that the Democrats have controlled the Senate since January 2007, his party still holds the majority in the Senate and his party is unwilling to vote FOR the president’s agenda). Despite these very obvious facts (coupled with the fact the American people wanted divided government and elected a huge Republican majority in the House in 2010 to serve as a check against the President’s agenda), the President is running on the idea that Congress won’t act.

So the President’s campaign agenda of “we can’t wait” will be a purely political message in 2012. Here enters HHS. On November 14, HHS issued a press release entitled: “We Can’t Wait: Health Care Innovation Challenge will improve care, save money, focus on health care jobs.”  This is a purely political press release and federal law (the Hatch Act) prohibits staff in the executive branch from engaging in political activities that are partisan in nature in the course of their duties or on federal property. The clear intent of the Hatch Act has been violated by officials at HHS.

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