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Biden White House won't honor GOP lawmakers' oversight request unless they are refiled next year

The White House is not constitutionally obligated to respond to the House minority party.

Published: December 29, 2022 7:07am

Updated: December 29, 2022 1:43pm

The Biden administration told top-ranking Republican congressmen on Thursday that the White House is not constitutionally obligated to comply with their oversight requests as the minority party in Congress, and that they must file the requests again when they are in the majority next month. 

Administration attorney Richard Sauber's letters to Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and James Comer (R-Ky.) are a significant blow as both men have made multiple executive branch requests over the past few weeks, according to Politico.

Congressional oversight powers do not apply to "individual members of Congress who are not committee chairmen, and the House has not done so under its current Rules," meaning that the Republicans' requests are not ones "to which the constitutional accommodation obligations" require the White House to respond, Sauber wrote.

The Biden administration had largely ignored Republican oversight attempts, except for during congressional hearings. Now, the GOP must restart the requests when they are in the majority next Congress, when Jordan will be the House Judiciary Committee chair and Comer will be the House Oversight chair.

The attorney pledged to respond to new requests "in good faith."

House Judiciary Committee Republicans commented on the Politico story via Twitter. 

"Last night, the White House LEAKS this ridiculous story ... Then, the White House BRIEFS Politico on the story. At 4:34 a.m. this morning, the White House sends us the letter. Only after publication does Politico ask us for comment. 'Good faith,'" the Republicans wrote.

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