In less than a week, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has been able to gather and post 33 letters Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) received from corporations, trade groups and research organizations. In December, Rep. Issa, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent letters to more than 150 groups, allegedly to identify federal regulations that negatively impact the economy and jobs. Rep. Issa had requested a response by January 10th. Despite the congressman’s commitment to transparency and CREW’s repeated requests, Rep. Issa has refused to post either his letters, or the responses received. Chairman Issa also has refused to share the responses with the committee’s ranking members, Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Last week, in a letter to Rep. Cummings, Rep. Issa said he would share any replies as well as his analysis of those replies, on February 11th.
Today, CREW is posting 33 replies sent to Chairman Issa in response to his letters. Ten of the recipients refused CREW’s request to make their response public; and 64, including ExxonMobil, have yet to respond to CREW. CREW will continue to post responses received or otherwise discovered.
“Chairman Issa claims to be committed to transparency, but his actions don’t match his words,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Considering how easy it has been for CREW to obtain and post many of these letters so quickly, it is hard to understand why Chairman Issa is stalling, or what he hopes to gain by refusing to make the letters public.” Sloan continued, “Trade groups and industry may have legitimate concerns over some regulations. But, if Congress is going to consider rolling back laws intended to protect the public, Americans deserve to know who’s asking for what repeal and why. There should be no backroom deals behind closed doors.”
Click here to read the letters CREW has collected.