Government watchdog: Dept. of Energy violated federal law with anti-Obamacare tweet

PHOTO: Energy Secretary-designate, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 19, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo
Energy Secretary-designate, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 19, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office says the Department of Energy stepped outside its congressionally mandated duties and violated federal law when an official DOE Twitter account tweeted shared Sec. Rick Perry's column on Cleveland.com calling for the repeal of Obamacare.

“Time to discard the burdens and costs of Obamacare: @SecretaryPerry,” the tweet from @EnergyPressSec said on July 25, 2017, sharing a link to Perry’s column.

His opinion piece criticized Obamacare and proposed more state power, writing, “It has never been enough to repeal Obamacare. Repeal is obvious, because its failure is obvious.”

In a letter to Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), the GAO said tweeting about health care policies was outside the department’s congressionally mandated jurisdiction.

“Energy did not show that its appropriation is available for the purpose of informing the public about health care legislation,” GAO concluded.

The tweet was deleted later the same day, but the DOE acknowledged its existence.

A DOE spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.