The Office of Management and Budget swung back Wednesday against Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and threw about as hard a punch as the bureaucracy can deliver. Waxman had alerted OMB of his intention to bring up a vote on a resolution to hold OMB administrator Susan Dudley in contempt of Congress for allegedly withholding documents related to an Ozone regulation dispute.
General counsel Jeffrey Rosen’s letter tells Waxman the agency was “surprised and disappointed.” He notes that OMB provided Waxman’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee with 7,558 pages of documents, including communication “directly between” Dudley and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Stephen Johnson.
Rosen writes that in “the four weeks after the May 20 hearing, we heard nothing further from the committee or your staff, and certainly nothing detailing reasons that the information provided…was insufficient.” The italicized emphasis is his—one of nine instances of italicized emotion in the letter. OMB argues that Waxman hasn’t asked for any further records and therefore Dudley can’t be in contempt. Waxman’s spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The letter concludes: “In view of the foregoing, we believe the present state of affairs does not justify the sudden, significant escalation that your June 13 letter portends.”