Jordan Statement on Cummings’ Commitment to an Open and Deliberative Subpoena Process

Published: Jan 29, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, released the following statement on the Committee’s organizational meeting:

“I appreciate the Chairman’s commitment to an open and deliberative process on his issuance of subpoenas. I look forward to working with him in a fair and constructive manner.”

In today’s organizational meeting, Chairman Cummings agreed to the following language regarding the issuance of subpoenas by the Committee:

“A Congressional subpoena is a powerful and coercive tool. It should be used only when attempts to reach an accommodation with a witness have reached an impasse or when necessary to obtain certain sensitive information, such as financial information, or through a so-called ‘friendly’ subpoena to protect a witness.
The Chair intends to avoid the use of unilateral subpoenas whenever possible. In the normal course, he hopes to work with the Ranking Member on proposed subpoenas well in advance. The Chair intends to consult with the Ranking Member by providing his office with a physical copy of the subpoena at least two days (48 hours) before it is issued.
If the Ranking Member objects to the issuance of a subpoena in writing, the Chair’s preference is to bring the subpoena before the Committee for a vote when feasible. Members deserve the opportunity to go on the record for some of the most important work they will do, and the public deserves the opportunity to see them do that work in the open. The Chair prefers that, when the Ranking Member objects, the Committee will have an open proceeding and a vote when feasible.
There will be exceptions to this policy, when, for example, the calendar does not permit the Committee to schedule a markup between the Chair’s initial consultation with the Ranking Member and the date on which a witness is scheduled to appear.
But even in this case, the Chair intends to be open with the Ranking Member and give him every opportunity to voice his opinion on the matter.”