Conservative Lawmaker Debunks Administration Claim That Congress Was Briefed

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"Conservative Lawmaker Debunks Administration Claim That Congress Was Briefed"

After the media reported last month on the financial tracking program, Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey claimed the administration had “briefed appropriate members of Congress and their staffs on this program.” Yesterday, Financial Services Oversight Subcommittee Chairwoman Sue Kelly (R-NY) corrected the spin.

Lawmakers “complained bitterly” that the administration had kept them “in the dark” about the program until the media broke the story. Here’s what Kelly had to say:

Many people in Congress who should have been briefed by this administration were not. And while I appreciated the visit last week from Undersecretary Levey – after the program’s existence was reported in the media – our oversight obligations are far from fulfilled. … We must insure that an environment of accountability is provided for all government.

Watch it:

Kelly isn’t the only conservative upset over the administration’s secrecy. She joins House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-NY), who recently told Bush the “U.S. Congress should not have to play Twenty Questions to get information that it deserves under the U.S. Constitution.”

Full transcript below:

KELLY: That said, many people in Congress who should have been briefed by this administration were not. And while I appreciated the visit last week from Undersecretary Levey – after the program’s existence was reported in the media – our oversight obligations are far from fulfilled. I believe that the skepticism the administration afforded this Congress, perhaps properly, regarding the Terror Finance Tracking Program must be reciprocated. We must insure that an environment of accountability is provided for all government, everyone in government who deals with this sensitive financial information.

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