Bob Goodlatte: Answers, accountability and the Obama administration

bob-goodlatte-afpFair representation and accountability – that’s just the starting point for what the American people deserve from their government. At the very core of the United States is a government of the people, by the people, for the people. However, all too often we’ve seen bureaucracy stand in the way of the efforts of the People’s House to seek answers on behalf of the public, leaving Americans in the dark.

Two prime examples of this Administration’s stonewalling are incidents where American lives were tragically lost. As a result of Operation Fast and Furious, a failed gunwalking scheme that allowed 2,000 weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed. Countless other crimes have also been committed by weapons traced back to this debacle. Separately, and on the other side of the world, the 2012 terrorist attack on the American embassy in Benghazi resulted in the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. In both cases, the Administration has repeatedly stymied efforts to bring the events of these tragedies to light by refusing to hand over related documents to congressional investigators.

Congress has been working diligently to see these answers brought out of the shadows and hold the responsible parties accountable. Just a few days ago, under court order, the Department of Justice finally released a portion of the documents about Operation Fast and Furious that were previously subpoenaed by Congress. This is another example of the courts slapping aside the imperial presidency of Barack Obama, reaffirming our Founding Fathers’ plan for a system of checks and balances and reasserting the role of Congress. Additionally, more than a year after requested, the State Department finally handed over 1,100 pages of records in the Benghazi investigation. While these are positive steps, it is utterly ridiculous that it has taken so long for the Administration to comply.

I agree with Trey Gowdy, chairman of the committee investigating the Benghazi attack, who said that the investigation of this terrorist attack “could have been completed a lot sooner if the administration had not delayed and delayed and delayed at every turn.” The Administration’s refusal to cooperate with congressional investigators in many instances has only magnified the frustrations of Congress and the American people. I will continue seeking the truth on behalf of the American people – it’s what they deserve.

Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth District of Virginia in Congress.


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