House Republican lawmakers issued subpoenas Wednesday to Department of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and three IRS officials following their failure to provide documents after several requests pertaining to the Obama administration’s alleged unlawful payments to insurance companies for nearly a year.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady each issued a subepoena demanding Lew present the requested documents before Congress on Feb. 3.
The lawmakers first asked for the information at the start of the investigation into the legality of the cost-sharing reduction program being funded without congressional approval in February 2015.
“What’s the self-proclaimed ‘most transparent administration in history’ trying to hide? Subpoenas should not be necessary to gather basic information about $5 billion in unlawful payments to insurance companies, but the Obama administration has left no choice despite our repeated, good faith efforts,” the chairmen said in a joint statement. “After almost a year of repeated excuses and stonewalling, the public deserves better. At the end of the day, the American public will get answers.”
Republican members in the upper chamber applauded the congressmen’s efforts to obtain the documents.
“Here’s the thing about stonewalling: At some point the facts will come to light. Unfortunately, when it comes to ObamaCare, it’s clear that this administration feels bound neither to the letter of the law nor to the spirit of transparency,” Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said in a statement Wednesday. “The same bureaucrats who unlawfully paid insurance companies billions of dollars are refusing to answer basic questions. Chairmen Upton and Brady deserve nothing less than the complete and full cooperation of these agencies.”
Brady and Upton wrote a letter with similar demands to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell last week demanding answers on why the Obama administration funded its Basic Health Program for six months without congressional approval. Burwell has since agreed to a phone call to brief Upton in the issue.
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