Rep. Issa Bill To Require Compliance with Congressional Subpoenas Passes Judiciary Committee
Today, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation introduced by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) to increase the ability of Congress to conduct oversight of the federal government. His bill – the Congressional Compliance and Enforcement Act (H.R. 4010) -- bolsters Congressional authority to enforce subpoenas issued by its Committees and Subcommittees in the course of their investigations.
“Congress has a duty to hold government accountable because the people have a right to know what they get from their government and because they deserve an efficient, effective government that works for them,” said Congressman Darrell Issa. “During my time as Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, I saw first-hand how the Executive Branch would do everything in its power to avoid complying with Congressional requests for documents and information that the committee was entitled to. This bill is a long-overdue update that will give Congress better tools to conduct our Constitutional responsibilities as the chief watchdog for the American people.”
Specifically, in cases where there is lack of compliance with a duly issued Congressional subpoena, the bill would allow a committee to seek expedited court review by a three-judge panel of the district court in order to obtain enforcement, and would give committees the ability to petition for direct appeal to the Supreme Court. Moreover, the bill would statutorily require recipients to comply with congressional subpoenas and would require subpoena recipients to provide a congressional committee with a privilege log if they assert a legal privilege as a reason for withholding subpoenaed materials.