By Ferdous Al-Faruque - 05/02/14 04:18 PM EDT
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is under investigation into whether the agency violated appropriations laws by promoting the Affordable Care Act.
According to the nonpartisan government accountability organization, Cause of Action (CoA), the HUD Inspector General’s office notified the group Friday it was investigating whether the agency misused resources to promote the president’s new healthcare law. Last month, CoA asked inspector general's from HUD and Health and Human Services to begin probing the matter.
“If HUD was using its resources to benefit HHS then they’re not using those resources to focus on HUD programs and that would raise concerns under the Anti-Deficiency Act,” said Dan Epstein, CoA executive director.
Epstein, however, says the larger issue is whether government agencies are being politicized by the White House to promote their agendas.
“The bigger question is are politicos within either the agencies themselves or the White House essentially pressuring agencies to misuse their resources in a way that benefits the political agenda of the president,” he asked.
Epstein hopes the announcement means the housing agency's general will do a more thorough investigation that should take no more than six months. Ultimately, any timeline will depend on the caseload of the investigators.
CoA says the HHS inspector general has not yet responded to whether they are conducting a similar investigation. The HUD inspector general's office would also not comment on whether an investigation is ongoing.