A newly offered House bill (HR-6062) would strengthen enforcement of the Hatch Act against political appointees, following a recent Office of Special Counsel finding of violations by a dozen Trump administration officials.
In that report the OSC pointed out that the individuals are now beyond the reach of penalties under the law and that penalties for such officials are at the discretion of the White House, which took no action even though some of them previously had been found in violation while still in office.
Under the bill, sponsored by House Oversight and Reform chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., when the OSC finds a Hatch Act violation by a political appointee, the President would have to report within three months on any disciplinary action taken against them. If no action was taken, the OSC could bring a complaint before the MSPB as it does for career federal employees and the merit board could impose a fine of up to $50,000.
Other provisions of the bill would allow the OSC to initiate such investigations even if no formal complaint has been filed; require public reporting of findings and outcomes of such cases; and specify that certain employees of the offices of the President and Vice President are subject to the law.