EXCLUSIVE: Republicans Demand Interior Secretary’s Meeting Schedules

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Two leading Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate are demanding that Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland provide a schedule of the meetings that she has conducted since her March confirmation to the office.

“The principles of transparency transcend administrations, and the American people deserve to know who is influencing government leaders’ decision-making,” Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman, the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, and Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, wrote to Haaland in a letter, obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller.

Citing a bipartisan record of disclosures under the Obama and Trump administrations, Westerman and Barrasso question whether or not Haaland’s schedule is “being deliberately withheld.” They argue that without the schedules, Congress is unable to conduct oversight of  “misguided policies, like locking up access to public lands, limiting water supplies to farmers and communities, and hampering domestic energy and mineral production.”

“Transparency from our leaders is absolutely essential. If we don’t know how and with whom Secretary Haaland spends her official time, we have no way of holding her accountable to the promises she made before she took office. I sincerely hope she follows the example of the previous two administrations and publicizes these important calendars,” Westerman told the Daily Caller.

Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat, was confirmed to helm DOI over Republican objections due to her stances on oil and natural gas drilling. Four Senate Republicans, Maine’s Susan Collins, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, joined with 47 Democrats in voting for Haaland. (RELATED: GOP Senator Grills Biden Interior Nominee On Oil And Natural Gas Industry: ‘Why Not Just Let These Workers Keep Their Jobs?’)

Republicans have frequently complained about a lack of transparency from the Biden administration. They have cited officials’ ignored requests for documents and briefings, as well as a lack of media access to the president.

Read the letter here:

2021-11-03 Westerman Barras… by Michael Ginsberg