7 Biden Admin Officials Were in Office Unlawfully, Government Watchdog Finds

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Seven different officials in President Joe Biden’s administration are in office illegally due to time limits, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

On Wednesday, the GAO found that seven presidential appointees serving in “acting” positions in their respective offices have run out of time on how long they can serve without a full Senate confirmation. GAO has issued five separate reports on the issue.

There are numerous positions within the executive branch that the president must appoint, and the U.S. Senate must confirm. These roles are referred to as PAS positions. Oftentimes, presidents will select individuals to temporarily fill these PAS positions while seeking Senate confirmations to fill out the roles on a more long-term basis.

The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 regulates when and how a president can choose “acting” officers to temporarily fill these PAS positions. The law generally stipulates that appointees may only serve in an acting position for about 210 days, starting from the date the vacancy occurs.

The law states that if the Senate rejects a first nomination to permanently fill a PAS position or if the president withdraws the nomination, an “acting” officer may fill the position for up to 210 more days.

The president may submit a second nominee to the Senate, and if the nomination is rejected, an acting officer may fill the position for another 210 days. Outside of these time limits, if no individual is confirmed, the PAS position must remain vacant, and only the head of the agency may perform the functions or duties of the position.

The GAO found that seven officials have exceeded the time limits stipulated in the law:

Shirley A. Jones, the Managing Associate General Counsel for the GAO, said each of the alleged violations “began in 2021 or 2022 and involves a long-vacant position for which previous Presidents submitted nominations.”

By Ryan Morgan

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