GOP senators say Reid violated openness law

Republican senators have accused Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenators briefed on US Navy's encounters with UFOs: report Key endorsements: A who's who in early states Trump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview MORE (D-Nev.) of violating new transparency requirements during the Senate healthcare debate.
The 23 Republican senators sent a letter to Reid on Tuesday raising concerns over a nearly 400-page manager’s amendment Reid unveiled days before the Senate adopted the language and passed the healthcare bill.


The group ranged from the most conservative to the most liberal GOP senators.

“Though your office has referred to these provisions as a ‘normal part of the legislative process,’ we are concerned that the inclusion of these items without appropriate disclosure may violate the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007,” the lawmakers wrote.

Democrats campaigned on the need to improve government transparency during the 2006 election and implemented sweeping ethics rules and disclosure requirements, particularly with earmarks, after winning control of Congress.

Republicans say Reid may have violated the law by failing to disclose earmarks that various lawmakers received through the healthcare measure. The 2007 ethics law requires bill sponsors to disclose directed spending items and limited tax benefits.

“It is clear that the Manager’s Amendment, in addition to the underlying bill, includes specific provisions which benefit some states and not others,” the Republican senators wrote. “We therefore ask you, as the sponsor of the Manager’s Amendment and underlying bill, to provide a list of all earmarks and congressional directed spending as required by The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.”

Republican lawmakers asked Reid to share the information with them and post it on his website within 24 hours. They also asked that Reid disclose earmarks and carve-outs in the final healthcare bill produced from Senate and House negotiations.

GOP Sens. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access MORE (Okla.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainVeterans group to hand out USS John McCain T-shirts for July 4 on the National Mall Will we ever have another veteran as president? Meghan McCain clashes with Joy Behar as the 'sacrificial Republican' on 'The View' MORE (Ariz.), Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley raises concerns about objectivity of report critical of GOP tax law's effects Overnight Health Care: Key Trump drug pricing proposal takes step forward | Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic loses bid for license | 2020 Democrats to take part in Saturday forum on abortion rights Key Trump proposal to lower drug prices takes step forward MORE (Iowa), John CornynJohn CornynDemocrats give Trump trade chief high marks GOP senators divided over approach to election security GOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks MORE (Texas), John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP senators divided over approach to election security McSally on Moore running for Senate again: 'This place has enough creepy old men' Hillicon Valley: GOP senator wants one agency to run tech probes | Huawei expects to lose B in sales from US ban | Self-driving car bill faces tough road ahead | Elon Musk tweets that he 'deleted' his Twitter account MORE (S.D.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) were among those who signed the letter.

Reid and President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump: Officials doing 'fantastic job' with detained migrant children given 'circumstances' Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Ghosts of 2016 primary haunt Democrats MORE spent weeks persuading Snowe to support the healthcare bill. But Snowe became a firm opponent after Democrats declined her request for additional weeks to review and negotiate the legislation.