Constituents ask questions

Each month I receive thousands of emails, phone calls, letters, tweets and Facebook messages. Here are a few questions I have received recently:

What is being done to hold former IRS official, Lois Lerner, and the Obama Administration accountable for their continued overreaching actions? When concerns were raised about IRS officials targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, several House Committees – including the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which I serve on – began investigating.

Unfortunately, when Ms. Lerner testified in May 2013 and again in March, she refused to answer questions or shed light on the necessary information to evaluate the degree of wrongdoing by the IRS. Congress has a clear constitutional duty to conduct robust oversight of the executive branch and to ensure the laws are being faithfully executed.

Given her ongoing refusal to cooperate, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted earlier this month to hold Ms. Lerner in contempt of Congress. The motion will now go before the full House of Representatives for approval.

As the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, I have overseen numerous investigations into the Obama Administration and can tell you firsthand that it is failing to live up to its promise of being the most open and transparent administration in history.

What is Congress doing to get more Americans back to work?

House Republicans’ focus remains on creating jobs and growing our economy. One common sense way to support small business job creators is to eliminate burdensome red tape and excessive government regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.

The House passed several bills to halt some of the Obama Administration’s most damaging regulations and ensure Congress gets final say on new rules that will have a major impact on the economy. In addition, the House has passed a number of bipartisan measures to create jobs and unlock America’s energy potential – including approving the Keystone pipeline, which is shovel-ready and has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs. Finally, the House is working to eliminate barriers to trade by creating new opportunities for our growers and manufacturers to compete in a global marketplace, and we are working to fix the tax code to improve competitiveness.

Rep. Doc Hastings represents Washington’s 4th Congressional District, including part of Okanogan County.

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