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Congressman Applies for Watchdog Post

November 4, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Todd Platts has submitted his name to be considered as the next comptroller general of the United States, the top post in the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Platts is one of 18 candidates who have applied for the position, according to a congressional source and a letter Platts sent to a congressional commission that selects candidates for the job and forwards their names to the president, who makes the final choice.

“By way of this letter, I am honored to officially submit my name to you and the other members of the Congressional Comptroller General Commission for consideration of appointment to the position of Comptroller General of the United States,” Platts wrote.

It is rare for a sitting member of Congress to apply for the comptroller general position, but the agency has taken on greater importance in recent years during the country’s economic crisis and throughout two expensive wars.

The GAO is an incredibly important government body and is taking on increasing responsibilities as it watchdogs stimulus spending and waste and fraud in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The position is ultimately decided by the President, after a panel of 10 lawmakers forwards final candidates to his office.

Were Platts to receive the position it would be unusual for how conservative the congressman has been through his career. The few Republicans who have received positions in the Obama administration have been known as relative moderates in the Republican Party (Ray LaHood, Bob Gates and John McHugh).

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