McCaskill to Federal Agencies: Who is in Charge?

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent letters to the acting heads of 15 cabinet-level agencies after Administration officials confirmed that ‘beachhead’ teams are overseeing various decision-making processes within various government agencies, rather than non-partisan civil servants and appointees assigned to stay after the transition who often lead agencies during transition periods. Politico reported that these beachhead teams “have already been responsible for hiring at some departments and crafting the blueprint of the Trump policy before the Cabinet members win Senate confirmation to take office.”‎

“Transparent government and good government go hand-in-hand, and right now things aren’t transparent—it’s unclear who’s in charge,” said McCaskill, former Missouri State Auditor. “The American people don’t know who’s ensuring their drinking water is clean, who’s monitoring our nuclear arsenal, or who’s making decisions about the backlog of VA benefits claims—and that’s alarming.”

The lack of transparency could make it difficult for Inspectors General, those tasked with rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse within the federal government, to effectively do their jobs.

“We must ensure that the federal government remains open and provides necessary services to the American people…It is critically important that Congress and the Inspector General are aware of, and able to communicate with all Departmental leadership, even in these early days of the new administration,” said McCaskill in letters to the Acting Secretary of 15 government agencies.

Copies of McCaskill’s letters to the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and Small Business Administration, are available online HERE.

Visit to see more about McCaskill’s fight to protect taxpayer dollars.