Committees Call on White House and DOJ to Stop Withholding Documents on Decision to Attack the Constitutionality of the ACA and Undermine Pre-Existing Condition Protections

May 14, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (May 14, 2019)—Five House Committees sent letters to the White House and the Department of Justice demanding documents in response to a request made more than a month ago regarding the Trump Administration’s sudden decision to reverse its legal position in court and assert that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) should be held unconstitutional.

The letters were signed by Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal, Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, and Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

“This action could deprive millions of Americans of health insurance coverage, including 133 million people with pre-existing conditions,” the Chairmen wrote.  “Given the grave consequences that would result if the Trump Administration’s legal position were to prevail, it is Congress’ responsibility as an independent and co-equal branch of government to understand how this decision was made.  If the President and his Administration truly stand by their decision to seek to eliminate health insurance coverage for millions of Americans, it is unclear why the White House would cover up its role in this unprecedented and disastrous reversal.”

To date, the White House has failed to respond in any way to the previous request for documents.  The Department of Justice sent an acknowledgement stating that it would respond promptly to the request, but it subsequently produced no further information.

Instead, on May 1, 2019, the Department of Justice filed a 50-page brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit elaborating on the Administration’s new—and flawed—legal position.

In the letters, the Committees demanded a complete response to their previous request, as well as a transcribed interview of Russ Vought, the Acting Director of Office of Management and Budget, by May 24, 2019, and the testimony of relevant Department of Justice officials.  The Committees also warned that if they do not receive a response by this date, they will consider alternative means to obtaining compliance.

Click here to read the letter to the White House.

Click here to read the letter to the Department of Justice.

116th Congress