Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is facing accusations that he is using his position in Congress to financially benefit his wife, whose charity may have gained “illegal private benefit” from his committee activities.
Cummings’ wife, Maya Rockeymoore, is the chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party and she “runs two entities, a nonprofit group called the Center for Global Policy Solutions and a for-profit consulting firm called Global Policy Solutions, LLC, whose operations appear to have overlapped, according to the IRS complaint filed by watchdog group the National Legal and Policy Center,” The Washington Examiner reported, adding that Rockeymoore’s charity “received millions from special interest groups and corporations that had business before her husband’s committee and could have been used illegally.”
One of Global Policy Solutions’ clients is AARP, which testified before Cummings’ committee earlier this year on the prices of prescription drugs after Cummings cited an AARP analysis.
“Current prescription price trends are simply not sustainable,” Catherine Alicia Georges, AARP’s national volunteer president told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in January. “Drug companies are working hard to try to shift the blame to others in the health care system, leaving them free to set incredibly high prices and increase them with little restraint.”
AARP, which sells insurance, has launched a new campaign, “Stop Rx Greed,” that aims to drive down the cost of prescription drugs by pushing for artificial government price controls on prescription drug prices.
Forbes reported that Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), a million-member and non-partisan organization, noted in a 2016 policy paper that government price controls do not work.
“Throughout history, governments around the world have tried to control the prices of goods and services. These efforts have disrupted the marketplace and created shortages or excesses,” CAGW wrote. “But just like zombies, price controls keep rising from the dead because politicians seem to think they can create a better methodology. They never learn that price controls do not work and end up hurting the economy, consumers, and taxpayers.”
The result of pushing for government price controls on prescription drugs could prove to be financially beneficial for AARP since they won’t have to pay higher prices for the prescription drugs.
Peter Flaherty, Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, told The Daily Wire: “It’s obvious what’s going on here. Representative Cummings is using his position in Congress to drum up business for his wife, both for her non-profit and her limited liability corporation.”
“We still have not received a copy of her non-profit’s 990 [form],” Flaherty continued. “Non-profit groups like my own are supposed to make them available upon request and we certainly do, but I asked her on April 29th; she hung up the phone on me, she still owes us the tax return.”
“That’s a huge red flag,” Flaherty concluded. “A non-profit that will not release its tax return publicly as it’s required to do is a huge red flag.”
Christopher Jacobs, founder and CEO of Juniper Research Group, wrote in The Federalist last year: “A review of AARP’s financial statements shows that since 2010, AARP has made more than $4.5 billion in income from selling health insurance plans, and generating investment income from plan premiums.”
In his report, Jacobs alleged that AARP made those profits “largely from denying care to vulnerable individuals with pre-existing conditions.”
A Republican operative who wished to remain anonymous told The Daily Wire: “Since Rep. Cummings repeatedly chose not to recuse himself from involvement in hearings involving his wife’s paid clients, there needs to be an immediate ethics investigation into these obvious conflicts of interests. The American people need to know the truth about what appears to be a potentially corrupt self-enrichment scheme by the congressman and his wife.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, told Breitbart News earlier this year: “There’s always room for improvement when it comes to compliance, and the tax-exempt sector is no exception. Oversight, especially in the tax-exempt sector, continues to be a top priority for me to identify and discourage improper behavior, but also to highlight best practices in this important sector.”
A former Trump White House official told Breitbart News regarding AARP: “Why is the Trump administration funding President Trump’s political enemies to the tune of over $100 million? It boggles the mind why anyone in the administration would think it’s a good idea to line the pockets of the very people who publicly oppose and lobby against the president’s America First agenda. The administration should put an end to the AARP gravy train immediately.”