Muckraker: Grist on Politics

U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson and Susan Dudley of the White House Office of Management and Budget may be held in contempt of Congress by the end of this week for failing to turn over documents related to recent controversial decisions on smog and California’s request for a waiver that would let the state set tougher auto-emissions standards than the federal government.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is slated to vote Friday on whether to hold Johnson and Dudley in contempt, if the documents are not turned over by then.

The Oversight Committee has subpoenaed documents that detail the White House’s role the EPA’s decision-making process in these two cases. “I regret that your failure to produce responsive documents has created this impasse, but Congress has a constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the executive branch,” Oversight Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) told Johnson in a letter [PDF] warning him of the contempt vote. “I strongly urge you to reconsider your position and comply with the duly issued subpoenas.”

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The House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming had also threatened to hold Johnson in contempt, but struck an 11th-hour deal to get the documents they had requested.