Panel Steamed Over Withheld DocumentsThis is not just mildly annoying. It's completely outrageous. I thought it was outrageous when they ignored Waxman's requests when he was the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee. Now he's the Chairman and that kind of behavior is unacceptable. The nerve of this Administration to ignore requests of the House Oversight and Government Reform is vexxing to me.
The Bush administration's incomplete response to a House committee's request for documents related to a hearing today on global climate change is leaving lawmakers and staff from both parties warm under the collar.
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Waxman requested documents from the White House Council on Environmental Quality, hoping to use them to underscore the suggestion that the administration has a habit of editing scientific reports to downplay the effects of global warming.
By presstime Monday, documents that were requested as recently as last week and as far back as six months ago had not been provided to the committee.
One of the largest motivating factors that drove voters to the polls in the midterm election was corruption. While Waxman is trying to find the truth, Bush appointees are clearly trying to stall that pursuit. Perhaps they are hoping they can wait it out for the next two years. Whatever their motivation, it is despicable and disrespectful to Congress.
If I were Chairman Waxman, I would subpoena the head of the White House Council on Environmental Equality and ask him where all of the missing documents are. Then I would tell him that the hearing was finished, that it would be rescheduled, and that he best do what it takes to provide the Committee with the requested documents before he showed his face before Congress again. Otherwise, he should face being found in contempt of Congress.
Enough playing around. This Administration has had a free pass for six years. There's no time for monkey business here. Only time for the people's business. Let's get to it.
Here is a video from today's hearing where Chairman Waxman reviews some of the edits that Bush appointees made to the environmental reports issued. I love the part where he points out that the Chief of Staff that suggested many of the edits was not a scientist, but a former lawyer for the Petroleum industry. Classic Bush.