May 3, 2011

House Subcommittee holds hearings on White House (lack of) transparency

Today, the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations began hearings on the White Houses's transparency pledge. In his opening remarks, Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) expressed concern that the American people "were made a lot of promises that quite frankly don't seem to have been kept" and took issue with several aspects of the White House's transparency program, including:

  • White House visitor logs. According to Stearns, only 1 percent of the 500,000 meetings President Obama held in his first eight months in office were released.

  • Allegations of White House staffers scheduling meetings at a Carribou Coffee to avoid listing meetings in the logs.

  • Lack of response to FOIA requests, including the "secrecy" of work done by key administrative czars and political donations from prominent unions.
Ironically, the White House did not send a witness to testify at the hearing. Given the White House's indifference to the hearing, they probably won't take the Subcommittee's findings seriously, even if they do suggest improvements.