By Gautham Nagesh - 03/24/11 05:02 PM EDT
House Oversight Chairman Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) wants to know if top Federal Communications Commission officials were discussing net neutrality with the White House while formulating their rules, and how much the White House may have been directing the conversation.
Issa wrote to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Thursday asking for more information on the numerous visits made to the White House by top FCC officials while the commission was formulating its net-neutrality rules, which were passed in December.
"In the fourteen months since my initial request, the FCC has done little to demonstrate its independence from the White House," Issa wrote, noting Genachowski made 81 visits to the White House in less than two years — between January 2009 and November 2010 — according to White House records.
"The large volume and timing of the meetings gives the appearance that they are more than coincidental. As such, the Committee requires more information about the nature and substance of these discussions," Issa said.
In addition to a list of all participants and topics discussed at the meetings, Issa requested all emails between White House staffers and the FCC regarding the controversial net-neutrality rules, which House Republicans recently voted to repeal.
Issa's letter makes no mention of any possible violations, but makes the requests in the spirit of governmental transparency pledged by President Obama.
The letter requests the FCC provide the documents by April 6.