Republicans demand answers about federal raid on Gibson Guitar

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to Obama administration officials Thursday demanding more information about a government investigation of Gibson Guitar, maker of the iconic Les Paul.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents raided Gibson factories in Tennessee last month and seized pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. 

The raids were part of an investigation into whether wood used in Gibson guitars was illegally imported from India.

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In the letter to the administration, GOP Reps. Fred Upton (Mich.), Cliff Stearns (Fla.), Mary Bono Mack (Calif) and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) said the raids might not have occurred if the skilled work on the guitars been performed in India instead of the United States.    

If this is true, it is hard to conclude anything other than the fact that your agencies and this Administration are actively pursuing regulatory and legal policies that discourage job growth in the United States and encourage shipping those very same jobs overseas, the lawmakers wrote. 

The policies of this Administration should actively support American companies that create jobs at home.

The Republicans asked Daniel Ashe, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service; Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; and Attorney General Eric Holder to make agency officials available to brief committee staff about the investigation next week.

The raids have become a rallying cry for many conservatives who see them as emblematic of an overreaching federal government.

On Twitter, Gibson uses the hashtag ThisWillNotStand for posts about the investigation, and Henry Juszkiewicz, the companys CEO, has appeared on several conservative radio shows to discuss what he describes as government bullying.

Juszkiewicz attended President Obamas speech Thursday night as a guest of Blackburn.