Chairman Demands Compliance with Subpoenas

Published: May 18, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Oversight and Government Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) sent letters to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator Howard Shelanski and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell urging their immediate compliance with Congressional subpoenas.

Both officials have delayed the Committee’s investigations on important issues by failing to produce requested documents.

In the case of Administrator Shelanski, for more than a year, the Committee has requested all documents relating to OIRA’s review of the Waters of the United States rulemaking. Despite repeated and persistent requests, including four hearings, multiples letters and staff interactions, and a subpoena, Administrator Shelanski refuses to provide all responsive documents to the Committee.

Secretary Burwell refuses to turn over key HHS documents relating to Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans established Obamacare. In addition, the agency refuses to discuss with the Committee their efforts to identify responsive materials and has failed to provide adequate assurances that documents covered under the Committee’s subpoena are being properly preserved.

Excerpt from the letter to Administrator Shelanski:

“To date, OIRA has made eight limited productions to the Committee from only a six month period (of the six year rulemaking process). Of the 7,623 pages produced, 73% (or 5,163 pages) of those are duplicates, including 23 copies of the rule itself and six copies of the rule’s economic analysis. Further, 990 pages of the documents produced to date are already publicly available.”

Excerpt from the letter to Secretary Burwell: 

“In sum, you and your staff’s posture towards congressional oversight of an extremely important Department initiative has required the Committee to go to extraordinary lengths to obtain even a small batch of responsive documents. In light of the forgoing, and with billions of taxpayer dollars at risk, it is imperative you stop obstructing the Committee’s investigation and immediately comply with the subpoena.”