Bipartisan support for Republican lawmaker Platts to lead GAO

Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) is getting plenty of support from his House colleagues in his quest for the top spot at the General Accountability Office (GAO).

Platts has interviewed for the office of comptroller general of the United States, the top GAO post, The Hill first reported earlier this week. Platts’ bid for the watchdog job has attracted the support of 111 of his House colleagues, including 38 Democrats.

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“Our support is based upon our personal observations of Mr. Platts’ character, his work ethic, and the thoroughly professional manner in which he has met his responsibilities as a United States Representative,” the members wrote in a letter to the commission that selects candidates.

In the letter, his colleagues tout Platts’s credentials, calling him an “active and diligent” member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee who has “repeatedly demonstrated a genuine commitment to enhancing the performance of federal government operations, maximizing government accountability and transparency, and ensuring the responsible expenditure of federal funds.”

The Democrats who signed the letter include such senior members as Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (Mass.), Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (Texas) and Rep. John Murtha (Pa.), chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee.

He also received strong support from the Pennsylvania Democratic delegation -- Reps. Paul Kanjorksi, Mike Doyle, Tim Holden, Jason Altmire and Christoper Carney -- and Democrats who sit on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Stephen Lynch (Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) and Brian Higgins (N.Y.).

Platts is one of 18 candidates seeking the comptroller general position. A congressional commission made up of five Republicans and five Democrats in the House and Senate winnows the candidates to at least three names and forwards them to President Barack Obama, who will make the final choice. It then must be approved by the Senate. Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) also leads the comptroller general selection commission. In his application letter, Platts noted his close work with Towns on the panel’s government management, organization and procurement subcommittee.

For now, Platts has said he plans to run for re-election unless he is selected for the post. If that occurs, there would be a special election to fill his seat, which is considered safe Republican territory.
 
It is not clear when the commission will make its selections and forward them to the president. The commission began considering candidates in April but the process usually takes months to complete.