WASHINGTON—Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans today voted unanimously to block an effort to get answers from the Administration on the Trump-Putin Helsinki summit. On a party-line vote, the Committee majority effectively killed a measure that would have required the Administration to produce records and documents dealing with this meeting.
“Two months after the unprecedented meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, the American people still have no idea what was discussed. We need to know. This is a matter of national security. And it falls to Congress to get the answers. That’s our job. It’s Congress’s constitutional responsibility to conduct basic oversight. But the Republican leadership in the House has opted to cover for this administration rather than allowing this body to do its job and exercise our checks and balances,” said Representative Eliot L. Engel, the Committee’s Ranking Member, during the markup.
“We are elected to public office to put people before politics and serve our country. Moreover, under our constitution, it is the role of Congress, the legislative branch, to oversee the executive branch. Nonetheless, yet again today, House Republicans chose to duck these responsibilities and continue to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to President Trump’s cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin. We’ll never forget the bizarre press conference; but it is Trump and Putin’s secretive one-on-one meeting in Helsinki behind closed doors that is especially concerning given Putin’s role interfering in our elections, his ongoing threat to our allies, and President Trump’s failure to confront these concerns with the response they merit. Today’s vote is just the latest example of Congressional Republicans’ refusal to take even the smallest of steps to fulfill their constitutional oversight duties and put the independence of our democracy over their party allegiance,” said Rep. Brendan F. Boyle, the measure’s author.
The Committee considered H.Res.1017, a resolution of inquiry that would have required the State Department to produce a variety of records dealing with the Trump-Putin Helsinki meeting. Committee action today will send the resolution to the floor with an adverse report—a formal recommendation that the House not take up the measure.
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