In his new book Deception: The Covid Cover-up, Sen. Rand Paul notes that Dr. Anthony Fauci, in government for more than 50 years, was never once confirmed by the Senate. Other powerful federal officials also evaded Senate confirmation through a partisan process that demands exposure and reform.

In 2020, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruled that Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Ken Cucinelli, senior official performing the duties of the deputy secretary, were both “serving illegally,” according to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA). GAO officials deferred to the DHS on who should serve and “the consequences of actions” taken by Wolf and Cuccinelli.

Democrat Reps Bennie Thompson and Carolyn Maloney charged that “GAO’s damning opinion paints a disturbing picture of the Trump administration playing fast and loose by bypassing the Senate confirmation process to install ideologues.”

According to the Constitutional Accountability Center, at least 15 Trump officials “do not hold their positions lawfully.” This figure “surely understates the severity of the problem” and “this pervasive evasion of the Senate’s advice-and-consent requirement is deeply troubling—and hugely consequential.” Contrast that with the record of the Biden administration.

In February, the GAO ruled that appointees at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Violence Against Women, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and the Agency for International Development were “serving unlawfully.” The GAO was not concerned whether appointees were performing their duties effectively, and it was all a matter of labeling.

ICE simply changed “acting director” Tae Johnson to “senior official performing the duties of director,” and ICE was no longer in violation of the Vacancies Act. By contrast, Ken Cuccinelli held a similar “performing the duties” title, but the GAO ruled him to be serving unlawfully under the FVRA.

Politicians did not complain that Johnson was an ideologue, that Biden officials serving unlawfully was deeply troubling and hugely consequential, and that the administration was illegally filling an office with an “acting” official. That happened with Julie Su, Biden’s pick for Labor Secretary.

Several Democrats were dubious and the Senate never held a vote. Then on September 21, GAO general counsel Edda Emmanuelli Perez ruled that the Vacancies Act’s time limitations did not apply to Su’s service, so she could remain atop the labor department without Senate confirmation. This was bad news because Julie Su is an anti-worker ideologue.

As California labor commissioner Su supported Assembly Bill 5, a frontal assault on workers’ independence. As Californians know all too well, she is an administrator of stunning incompetence.

Su headed California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), which oversees the Employment Development Department (EDD) responsible for unemployment claims. On Su’s watch, the EDD sent out more than $31 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims, many to criminals out of state, and out of country.

A federal government “accountability” office empowered the most unaccountable person American workers could imagine. Democrats and their media allies did not complain that this particular evasion of the Senate’s advice-and-consent requirement was deeply troubling. For all but the willfully blind, it is hugely consequential.

Joe Biden is a big fan of California’s AB-5 law, and hopes to impose something similar on workers nationwide. By greenlighting Julie Su, the GAO helps make that possible.

In effect, the GAO functions as a supreme court for the federal bureaucracy, and the Vacancies Act as an ersatz constitution. GAO attorneys deploy the Act to oppose those they dislike and support those they approve. The Act should be amended to ensure that destructive ideologues such as Julie Su cannot serve without Senate confirmation. Dr. Anthony Fauci did so for decades, but his case is different.

Dr. Fauci twice declined the offer of President George W. Bush to become head of the National Institutes of Health. In that office, Fauci knew he would face confirmation hearings and have a limited term. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases which Fauci headed since 1984, had no such limitations.

The NIAID boss, whose bio shows no advanced degrees in molecular biology or biochemistry, came to command public health policy, medical research spending, and a budget of more than $6 billion. That vast concentration of power enabled Fauci to pay off people to get what he wanted. That includes a cover-up of Covid origins, as Sen. Paul, a medical doctor, shows in Deception.

Congress must hold Dr. Fauci accountable, to the full extent of the law, however long it takes. Congress must make the NIAID director subject to Senate confirmation and limit the director to one four-year term. All NIAID and NIH grants should be posted on the internet in real time and in downloadable form. These measures will help prevent a resurgence of white coat supremacy. As the people know from experience, that is no basis for a system of government.