Leahy Urges Debt Committee To Adopt Transparency, Accountability Measures

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2011) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction congratulating them on their appointments and asking that the panel conduct its proceedings with transparency and accountability to the American people.  In his letter, Leahy – a longtime champion of the Freedom of Information Act and the public’s right to know – urges the Select Committee’s members to adopt rules of procedure that will assure transparency as the Committee works to find bipartisan ways to reduce the nation’s debt and deficit.

The letter was sent by Chairman Leahy and addressed to Co-Chairs Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).

The full text of the letter follows.  A PDF is available online.

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August 11, 2011

The Honorable Patty Murray                                      The Honorable Jeb Hensarling

Co-Chair                                                                     Co-Chair

Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction            Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
448 Russell Senate Office Building                           129 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC  20510                                             Washington, DC  20515

Dear Senator Murray and Congressman Hensarling:

I congratulate you on your recent appointments as the bipartisan Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (“Committee”).  As you commence the important work of this Committee, I urge you to carefully consider and adopt rules of procedure for the Committee that will ensure transparency and accountability to the American people.

The ongoing debate in Congress about the national debt has made clear that we must find ways to work together, across party lines and ideologies, to address the challenges facing our Nation.  An open and transparent process for the work of the Committee is vital to ensuring that the recommendations of the Committee will have the confidence and support of the American people.  Open government is neither a Democratic issue, nor a Republican issue – it is truly an American value and virtue that we all must uphold.  It is in this bipartisan spirit, that I urge you to adopt transparency measures for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that reflect this American value. 

Again, I congratulate you on your appointments and I look forward to working with you to ensure that the Committee’s work is open and accountable to the American public.   


PATRICK LEAHY                                                                           


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