President Joe Biden may have just found himself in a sticky situation, ethically speaking.
According to Fox News, the president is facing scrutiny from Republicans after his administration waived longstanding ethics rules to allow at least two ex-union officials now working for the White House to keep up communications with their former unions.
Fox reports that the White House “has said these are necessary moves to facilitate liaisons between government agencies and labor unions.” But Republicans, for their part, don’t seem to be buying it.
What’s going on?
The guidelines barring communication between labor unions and former union leaders who now work for the executive branch were initially instated to prevent any collusion between these organizations and the federal government. But a pair of White House officials are reportedly skirting the rules.
One such individual is Alethea Predeoux, who works in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Predeoux used to be the top lobbyist for the American Federation of Government Employees, which consists of roughly 700,000 federal workers, Fox reports.
Another Biden staffer to have been granted a waiver is Celeste Drake, who currently leads the White House Made in America Office.
Drake, for her part, formerly worked for the Director’s Guild of America and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
Cause for concern?
That the two were granted waivers to continue keeping tabs on their old unions brought out the ire of Republicans including Katharine Cooksey, a spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
She told Fox News in a statement: “The pattern of corruption between Democrats and big union bosses is obvious — just follow the money and follow the staff.”
Cooksey charged that unions have had an outsized influence on the Biden administration’s decisions, including recently released guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on reopening schools in the wake of COVID-19.
“Since the very first day of the Biden administration, every single Democrat has echoed the same union-approved talking points to keep schools closed and to jam a radical, job-killing agenda through Congress,” Cooksey told Fox. “While Republicans are working to get kids back in the classrooms and the economy moving again, Democrats are taking orders from their bosses at the unions to keep schools closed and stifle job opportunities,” she added.
It certainly makes you wonder what else unions across the country may be trying to pressure the White House to do.