The House Financial Services Committee's ranking member Rep. Maxine Waters D-Calif., left, with committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, during the committee's hearing on overhauling the nation's financial rules. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

GOP chairman warns agencies about requests for records

May 06, 2017 - 2:47 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican chairman of a House committee is telling several government agencies to hold back communications with his committee when asked to provide them under the federal open records law.

Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling says those are congressional records, not agency records covered under the Freedom of Information Act. He says they often contain sensitive and confidential information.

The advocacy group Public Citizen says Hensarling's letter violates the spirit of the open records law.

Hensarling is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. The committee's top Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, says it's hypocritical of Hensarling to shield himself from the oversight of the American people. She says people should ask, "What is he trying to hide?"

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