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GovTrack.us
A website for tracking bills in the U.S. Congress. See https://www.govtrack.us.

Under current law, if a political appointee’s political expense is found to be illegal, there is no legal requirement that they personally pay it back or that the money be refunded to taxpayers.

In practice, such appointees often do refund the money because of public pressure — but not always. Trump’s original Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price only refunded taxpayers about one-eighth of the cost of his private flights which forced his resignation.

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other administration members recently including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and former EPA Chief Scott Pruitt who installed an illegal $43,268 phone booth in his office.

What the billdoes

The Cut the Perks Act [H.R. 6295] would formally create a law that political appointees would have to pay back illegal expenditures out of their own pocket. The illegality would be determined by either the agency’s inspector general or the government-wide Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The bill was introduced in June by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ9) .

What supporters say

Supporters argue that the bill creates an official policy of financial fairness that before was only compelled through public pressure rather than force of law.

“Arizonans are sick and tired of having their hard-earned tax dollars wasted. No taxpayer should ever foot the bill for Washington bureaucrats’ illegal expenses,” Rep. Sinema said in a press release . “Our bipartisan bill forces administration appointees to pay back the taxpayers for illegal expenses and demands accountability.”

GovTrack Insider was unable to locate any public statements of opposition from a sitting member of Congress.

Odds ofpassage

Although it was introduced by a Democrat, the majority of cosponsors are across the aisle: four Republicans and one Democrat .

It awaits a potential vote in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

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Cut the Perks Act would force political appointees to personally pay back taxpayer-funded illegalexpenses

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Wellness

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There’s sound science for the value of this concept and the promise of more evidence to come soon that may prove its impact.

Autism is a complex, diverse developmental disorder, and there is still so much we don’t know about it. But in recent years, there have been incredible advancements. Consider some of the wide-ranging potential causes and risk factors that have been identified: Research has linked autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to various biological , PLUS 5620 3D Zip Knee Super Slim Jeans Black Rinsed GStar TeLOI
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says:
January 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm

You all have touched on so many deep and important points with such a simple and clear approach–thank you, thank you, thank you!

One quick note–I realize that DH centers are pretty much all based at universities, but DH collaboration is not solely contained therein. I would love to see this Bill of Rights apply no matter the nature of the institution(s) involved–whether university, museum, library, archive, or other setting. So where possible, I would caution against adhering too strictly to the vocabulary of and about the academy (e.g., “PI,” “Universities are locations of creativity and innovation,” etc.) Otherwise, this is wonderful! Thanks so much for your hard work.

says:
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Interesting. Do you need to distinguish between authors for purposes of credit versus authors for purposes of copyright? For example, in 2A any collaborator identified as an author would own an equal share in the copyright of that work, regardless of the level of her commitment.

You may wish to make it clear that these recommendations address scholarly credit, but that intellectual property rights need to be spelled out in separate agreements.

says:
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Overly rigid employment categories are a big problem for DH collaborators in Academia. At one place I worked, for example, librarians can be PIs. People with software development skills don’t get hired as librarians though, because the administration is picky about librarians having to be properly credentialled (must have an MSLS or similar), and librarians are harder to hire than regular staff. So when they look for developers to work in the library, they choose (quite rationally) to create staff positions for them so they can pick from a larger pool.

The practical upshot of this is that programmers hired into this library to do DH work, for example, have only limited prospects, can’t initiate projects themselves, and can’t be promoted beyond a certain point. They are stuck.

None of this is due to malice on anyone’s part. It’s simply the case that the traditional institutional structures don’t work well or fairly for the kind of scholar-programmer who is ideal for DH projects. Changing it would require lobbying the administration, which would require motivation to do so and also successful models to emulate. I think this document is a great step forward towards providing that.

says:
January 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Echoing what some others said above about documenting contributions, I think the nature of “contribution” needs to be clarified a little, possibly by enumeration (in this document) of some kinds of roles, especially those at the edge of projects. (e.g. Does “I send bug reports regularly” count as being a contributor? Is the definition different for tools projects than for resources/archives projects?)

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