Platts bids for Comptroller General job

Monday - 4/12/2010, 7:04am EDT

WFED's Max Cacas

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By Max Cacas
Reporter
Federal News Radio

Before leaving on their two-week Easter/Passover break, the leadership of the House and Senate sent to President Obama a list of four possible nominees to be the next Comptroller General of the United States. The Comptroller General also runs the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress.

One of the nominees comes from the ranks of lawmakers in the House of Representatives -- Pennsylvania Congressman Todd Platts, a five-term Republican representing the state's 19th Congressional District. He's a member of three House committees, including the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Recently, Federal News Radio spoke exclusively to Platts, and began by asking his impression of having his name on the list.

"I'm certainly honored to have the trust and confidence of members of the House and Senate leadership, Republican and Democratic leaders who have submitted my name to President Obama, and especially to have strong bi-partisan support. I was humbled to have 167 House colleagues, including 57 Democratic colleagues, sign a letter on my behalf that went to the President last week. That trust that's been placed in me is something I take very seriously."

Rep. Platts says he actively sought the nomination to the Comptroller General's post.

"I submitted my name for consideration late last summer," he said in a telephone interview from his district office in York, Pa., "and did so after being encouraged by colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives. I have great respect for the work of the Government Accountability Office, and the importance of that work, especially to Congress performing its oversight role of the federal government. "

Platts cites his past work with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, particularly on the subcommittee with direct oversight over the GAO, as one of his qualifications for the job as Comptroller General.

"My work for four years as chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Government Management, Finance and Accountability gave me the opportunity to work with numerous officials at the GAO, and they were great partners in the more than 50 hearings I held as chairman of the Oversight subcommittee. I had a chance to see first hand not only the importance of what GAO does, but the great personnel at GAO."

Platts says through his career in the Pennsylvania state house, and nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives, he has had an interest in "open, accountable and efficient government."

And he believes the GAO plays an important role in that regard.

"I've developed strong friendships and partnerships on both sides of the aisle, and I understand the great important relationship between GAO and Congress. Today, a huge proportion of GAO's work is on behalf of Congress."

Platts says that work is even more important than ever given the current fiscal challenges facing the country.

Congressman Platts has said that he would resign from his House seat should he be confirmed as Comptroller General.

So far, there is no word from the White House on when the President plans to nominate someone for the job of Comptroller General.

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