Committee Leaders Applaud Court Decision that White House Must Increase Transparency

August 18, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC -U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Health Subcommittee Vice Chair Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today released the following statement after an Obama-appointed judge ruled that the White House visitor logs are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.

"Despite the president's repeated promises that this would be the most open and transparent Administration in history, the White House has failed to disclose even the most basic information, such as visitor logs. The committee has launched several investigations, including a review of secret health care negotiations and the Department of Energy stimulus loan guarantee program, but time and again, we have been met with resistance. We welcome Judge Howell's decision reinforcing that the White House's business is subject to federal law and must be made transparent to the American people."

In an ongoing pattern of obstruction, the White House has failed to turn over documents requested in the committee's investigation of closed-door health reform meetings, and the committee was forced to issue a subpoena to acquire documents related to the loan guarantee investigation. On May 3, 2011, the Administration failed to produce a witness for an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing to discuss concerns with transparency, visitor logs, and lobbyists. For more information, click here.

"The White House visitor logs are a first step to obtain basic information, but we expect the White House to cooperate with additional information requests made by the committee and outside watchdog groups," said the leaders.

For a detailed account of the committee's investigations, please click here.