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U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (3rd L) speaks as (L-R) Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN), Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo: ALEX WONG/GETTY
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (3rd L) speaks as (L-R) Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN), Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC…

Rep. AOC introduces PAID Act to improve transparency of political appointees

To meet the needs of the American people, our appointees need to reflect America,” Rep. AOC wrote.

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On June 28,  Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) introduced a new bill that would require the White House office of Presidential Personnel to publish a summary of demographic information on political appointees available to the public. 

The Political Appointments Inclusion and Diversity (PAID) Act would require the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to coordinate with the office of Presidential Personnel to make the information easily accessible and available for interested parties, who want to know more about an appointee’s background.

 According to the bill’s text, each report published shall include self-identified data on race, ethnicity, tribal affiliation, gender, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, and whether the appointee is over the age of 40. 

“To meet the needs of the American people, our political appointees need to reflect America.  The Political Appointments Inclusion and Diversity Act would shine a light on who is at the table in our government and who is not,” Rep. AOC said in a statement, “By publicly reporting on the demographics of appointees we will see where efforts need to be improved to ensure that our policymakers are not only talented, but diverse and representative of everyone in our country.”

However, the bill would not go as far as to divulge the identification of individual appointees, and will only allow for users of the Office’s site to view the type of appointee by agency or component, along with the self-identified data. 

There would also be an option not to specify with respect to any such category. 
 

AOC’s bill has earned the support of 30 organizations, including Inclusive America, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, Mi Familia Vota, MANA - A National Latina Organization, AAPI Victory Fund & AAPI Victory Alliance, Diversity in National Security Network, RepresentWomen, and more. 

“For too long the lack of transparency of who gets these powerful positions has benefited certain segments of our society,” Inclusive America wrote in support. 

AOC’s PAID Act bill will be considered as part of the Periodically Listing Updates to Management Act (PLUM Act) on June 29 at the Business Meeting of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.  

Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) introduced the PLUM Act on March 18, 2021. It would provide the public with visibility into who is serving in senior leadership positions in the Executive Branch by requiring the OPM to establish and maintain a current, publicly-available directory of senior government leaders online.

Together, the PLUM Act and PAID Act fight for transparency among Capitol Hill’s leaders.

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