Eye Opener: NHTSA won't give GOP Toyota docs
Happy Tuesday! A top House Republican is accusing the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration of withholding documents regarding what Toyota knew about mechanical problems with its vehicles before the issue became an international embarrassment for the company.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Monday that agency officials are selectively interpreting federal case law regarding when an agency can share confidential business information with lawmakers.
NHTSA has been sharing information with Congress since February but recently has sent confidential Toyota information to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, per the request of the panel's top Democrats. NHTSA lawyers, citing federal case law from the 1970s, said they can't share the information with Issa unless the Oversight Committee's chairman requests the information. Though the Oversight panel held the first hearings on Toyota braking concerns, Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) hasn't pushed for information as vigorously as Issa.
"When the White House and Congress are controlled by the same party, as is the case today, Congress has a known tendency to 'drop the ball' and not conduct sufficiently rigorous oversight over the administration," Issa wrote in response to NHTSA's decision, suggesting the agency does in fact have the right to share the information with him.
So should NHTSA withhold Toyota's sensitive business information or hand it over for review?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
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| April 13, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Congress, Eye Opener, Oversight | Tags: Darrell Issa, Edolphus Towns, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Toyota, United States, United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce, White House
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