Cummings Presses Gowdy to Subpoena Eight Agencies Refusing to Submit Identities of Regulatory Reform Task Force Members
Cummings Presses Gowdy to Subpoena
Eight Agencies Refusing to Submit Identities of
Regulatory Reform Task Force Members
Washington, D.C. (Feb. 23, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter requesting that Chairman Trey Gowdy issue subpoenas to eight federal agencies that are refusing to disclose to Congress the members of their Regulatory Reform Task Forces.
“One of our key responsibilities on this Committee is to conduct vigorous oversight to protect against conflicts of interest that have the potential to alter federal policy to benefit corporate and other interests rather than the interests of the American people, and it should not take the better part of a year just to obtain this basic information,” Cummings wrote.
On February 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13777, which required each agency to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force to “evaluate existing regulations,” “make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification,” and identify regulations that “eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation,” “are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective,” or “impose costs that exceed benefits.”
In August, Cummings, along with Ranking Members John Conyers, Jr., Gerald E. Connolly, and David Cicilline, sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs requesting the identities of Task Force participants. The Members received no response to their request.
On February 7, 2018, Cummings, Connolly, Cicilline, and Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler, sent letters to the 12 agencies that still had not disclosed the identities of their Task Force members, and they requested the information by February 20, 2018. In response, four agencies provided the information, but the following eight agencies provided no response:
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Justice
- Department of Labor
- Department of State
- General Services Administration
- Small Business Administration
- Social Security Administration
“For these reasons, I now ask that you issue subpoenas to compel these eight agencies to produce documents sufficient to identify the members of their Regulatory Reform Task Forces,” Cummings wrote. “If you choose not to do so, then I ask you to place this matter on the agenda for our next regularly scheduled business meeting so all Committee members will have the opportunity to vote on a motion to subpoena the agencies for this information.”
Click here to read today’s letter.