WASHINGTON — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, House Republican Leader John Boehner, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Susan Collins and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Darrell Issa on Thursday sent President Obama the names of four candidates to be considered for appointment to the Office of Comptroller General of the United States.
Their letter follows one sent earlier this week by the Senate and House Democratic leaders, who suddenly ended the work of a bipartisan Commission established to recommend candidates to the President to fill the important post of Comptroller General.
The full text of the letter follows:
March 25, 2010
The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write to you in our capacity as members of the Commission established to make recommendations to you regarding the appointment of the next Comptroller General of the United States.  Earlier this week, the Democratic members abruptly ended the Commission’s work, preventing further negotiations that could have led to a consensus list of qualified candidates with broad bipartisan, bicameral support.  Instead, the Democratic members unilaterally submitted a list of candidates to you. 
Fourteen candidates expressed interest in the Comptroller General position.  Several of these candidates possess the experience, integrity, and judgment necessary to perform the duties of the Comptroller General.  The Government Accountability Office’s credibility depends on a reputation of impartiality; therefore, we strongly believe that the next Comptroller General must be free from even the appearance of partisanship.  In performing its mission, GAO also needs to have the trust and confidence of Members of Congress, not merely those in the current majority party.
While staff discussions on reviewing and narrowing the list of candidates were proceeding, the Democratic Commission members unexpectedly informed the Republican Commission members that they would be transmitting a list of four candidates to you.  We were not presented with an opportunity to revise this list, nor were we consulted on its creation. 
Over the 15-year term of the next Comptroller General, our nation will be confronted with many challenges that require unbiased reviews and nonpartisan recommendations for reform.  Accordingly, we believe it is imperative that you consider the views of the Republican members of the Commission before making your decision on whom to nominate to serve in this critical position.  Of those candidates previously forwarded to you by the Democratic members, we have identified three candidates we could support for the Comptroller General position:  Ira Goldstein of Maryland, Todd R. Platts of Pennsylvania, and Gene L. Dodaro of Virginia.  In addition to those candidates, we believe that Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. of Virginia possesses the experience, qualifications, and integrity to be the next Comptroller General and ask that you consider him as well.  The resume of each of these candidates is enclosed for your review. 
Again, we regret that the Democratic members did not allow the bipartisan process to conclude its deliberations.  Nonetheless, we encourage you to select a capable, qualified, non-partisan candidate for the position of Comptroller General of the United States and believe that each of the candidates we have identified meets these requirements.
            Mitch McConnell                                                        John A. Boehner
            Minority Leader                                                           Minority Leader
            United States Senate                                                U.S. House of Representatives
            Susan M. Collins                                                         Darrell Issa
            Ranking Member                                                         Ranking Member
            Committee on Homeland                                          Committee on Oversight and
            Security and Governmental Affairs                           Government Reform
            United States Senate                                                  U.S. House of Representatives