A new rule requiring the online posting of financial disclosure reports for some federal workers was set to go into effect this weekend, but Congress decided this week to delay implementation for thousands of employees for the third time this year, setting a new implementation date of April 15th. David Hawkings, editor-in-chief of CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing talks with WAMU Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey about what this means for federal employees in the D.C. area.
A reminder on who is affected by this component of the STOCK Act: "30,000 federal workers in the legislative and executive branches who make more than about $120,000 a year, the so called senior staff," Hawkings says. "It does not effect actual members of Congress, cabinet members, the president, the vice president. The elected officials, the politicians, they will still have to file."
Why Congress is hesitating on having the other employees file: "They were the initial targets of this law," Hawkings says of elected officials. "During the debate on this … the whole expansion to legislative staff and to executive branch was sort of a late starter, some people are saying it was ill-considered."
On what is prompting yet another delay: "The first and second delays were to allow a study by the National Academy of Public Administration as to whether the arg against this rule has any validity," Hawkings says. "The people fighting this rule, who have taken it to court in two different lawsuits, say that national sec could be violated, that they could be compromised if … anyone around the world can with a click of a button can find out some pretty intimate details about you and compromise your integrity."
Whether Congress consider removing the provision entirely: "They certainly seem open to it, initially I was a little skeptical that they wouldn't just plow ahead, but these lawsuits have prompted them to reconsider with relative ease," Hawkings says. "The study appears very close to being done, but I wouldn't expect another debate. By next April, they'll either change the law to comply with these complaints or they won't."