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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Meet withheld documents with withheld funds

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It is time for members of the House of Representatives to finally realize that they will get no cooperation from the Obama administration in any matter of questionable legality or possible embarrassment to the president in spite of Barack Obama's promises of transparency and integrity.

So it is time for House members to recognize where their real power is and start to use it. It is the power of the purse strings. The funds allocated to the Department of Justice are now fair game, and negotiations between the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. over the power of congressional oversight should be discussed in that light.

Lawmakers should threaten a reduction in funding for staff, programs and infrastructure should be put on the table unless the Justice Department begins cooperating on these legitimate and important inquiries.

There are legitimate issues that should be kept quiet and out of the public domain. However, the tendency for the administration to withhold information from the people's elected representatives is something that is in direct opposition to the right to know of a free people.

The investigation of Fast and Furious is important for a lot of reasons but to me, the most important one is that the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of a Border Patrol agent should never be kept secret.

ROBERT A. POGGI

Alexandria

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