HOYER OUTRAGED BY ARROGANT, HYPOCRITICAL DECISION TO LIMIT QUERIES

Responds to Reports that White House Will No Longer Entertain Questions from Democrats

For Immediate Release:

November 7, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to a news report in today’s Washington Post that the Bush White House will “not entertain any more questions from opposition lawmakers,” effectively preventing “Democrats from getting questions answered without the blessing of the GOP committee chairmen.”

 “This is an outrageous act by a White House that is taking secrecy, partisanship and the imperial presidency to new levels.  The Republican Party perfected the art of making inquiries of the White House during the Clinton years, and now that they are in charge they can’t be bothered with the democratic process, open government and informing the American people how their money is being spent.

 “This is part of a White House and Republican Leadership pattern of refusing to be held accountable.  It comes on the heels of a decision by Republican Leaders to drop from the $87 billion Iraq supplemental conference report quarterly reporting requirements on eight separate issues requiring greater accountability on such areas as the money spent and progress made in Iraq and Afghanistan and the effect the war is having on our troops and readiness.  I offered those provisions in the Appropriations Committee and they were included with the Majority’s support.

 “There are no checks and there is no balance in Washington right now, as evidenced by this arrogant and unprecedented act.  I hope this decision is reversed immediately for the good of the American people and constitutionally accountable government.”

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