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Press Release: Foster Leads Effort to End Unilateral Subpoenas

Oct 5, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) led a letter to the House Rules Committee urging the end of the unilateral subpoena power of committee chairs in the 115th Congress.

At the start of the 114th Congress, several committees, including the Financial Services Committee, Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, adopted new rules to give their chairs the authority to issue subpoenas without a vote.

“The move by several committees to break from tradition and allow unilateral subpoenas has proven to be a power too often and easily abused,” said Foster. “In the Science, Space, and Technology Committee alone, more than 20 subpoenas have been issued during the 114th Congress – more than had been issued by that committee in the past three decades. It is clear that unilateral subpoena power is being used to harass scientists and researchers and as a weapon against those expressing views that the committee chairs may disagree with. Congress needs to take action to prevent further abuses and change this rule.”

Over two dozen members of Congress joined Congressman Foster’s call to end unilateral subpoena power. You can read the full letter here.