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Press Release

Members Blast DOI for Unresponsiveness to Hearing Questions

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 15, 2024 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
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Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) led a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, seeking answers as to why the administration has repeatedly failed to respond to questions for the record (QFRs) following committee hearings. In part, the members wrote:

"The Committee is troubled by the fact that witnesses from the Biden administration have appeared before the Committee without adequate preparation to answer questions during hearings. Instead, they seem to prefer taking QFRs, either to avoid providing information to the Committee and the American people, or as a dilatory tactic to provide responses with such a significant delay that it renders the response moot. ... A recent example of this disregard were the responses to QFRs received by the Committee from Secretary Haaland’s April 19, 2023, appearance before the Committee on President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget request. The responses to those QFRs were only just received on January 12, 2024, nearly nine months after her testimony. ...

"The alarming disregard for the American public’s right to the timely presentation of the full scope of the hearing is not acceptable. Of the 40 instances of DOI officials testifying before the Committee during the First Session of the 118th Congress, 21 sets of QFRs remain outstanding and unanswered, the oldest of which dates back to March 2023."

Read the full letter here.