House Republicans fired back at the White House on Thursday after the counsel’s office rejected GOP oversight requests.
On Thursday morning, White House Special Counsel Richard Sauber sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer, R-Ky., to say that the administration did not plan to respond to letters seeking information for potential House probes, telling the congressmen that they needed to resend those requests once they take over their committees in the next Congress.
The lawmakers are anticipated to lead the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, respectively, when Republicans take the majority next month in the 118th Congress.
The Republicans say that the move is an effort to “obstruct congressional oversight.”
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“Just before dawn at 4:33 a.m., the White House informed us they will not provide the answers we have been seeking for the American people on important issues such as the border and fentanyl crises, the energy crisis, botched Afghanistan withdrawal, COVID origins and the Biden family’s influence peddling,” Comer said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“President Biden promised to have the most transparent administration in history, but at every turn the Biden White House seeks to obstruct congressional oversight and hide information from the American people,” he said.
In November, Jordan wrote to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain ahead of the new Congress, where Republicans will hold the majority, requesting documents and related information “concerning the Biden Administration’s misuse of federal criminal and counterterrorism resources to target concerned parents at school board meetings.” Jordan threatened to use the subpoena power he will receive next year to obtain the information.
“Please be aware that if our requests remain outstanding at the beginning of the 118th Congress, the committee may be forced to resort to compulsory process to obtain the material we require,” Jordan said.
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Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office, told Fox News that the office intends to operate in “good faith” with the Republicans.
“As we have over the past two years, we intend to work in good faith to provide appropriate information to Congress, but Americans have made clear they expect their leaders in Washington to work together on their top priorities, like lowering costs. That’s what the president will focus on, and we hope House Republicans join him.”
“Unfortunately, political stunts like subpoena threats from the minority suggest House Republicans might be spending more time thinking about how to get booked on “Hannity” than on preparing to work together to help the American people,” Sams said.
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The House Judiciary Committee tweeted Thursday that the White House’s advance notice of the letter to news outlet Politico is indicative of the White House “playing games.”
“Does leaking a story and sending a letter at 4:34 a.m. sound like “good faith” to you, @JoeBiden,” the tweet stated.
“No. It shows how scared you are of important congressional oversight, particularly one where your administration targeted parents protesting at local school board meetings.”
“The White House and media are already playing games. This is why it’s so important for us to hit the ground running on January 3rd. Get ready,” the committee added.