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GOP senators say Reid violated openness law

Republican senators have accused Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBottom line Biden's first 100 days is stylistic 'antithesis' of Trump The Memo: Washington's fake debate on 'bipartisanship' 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.

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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 CoburnDHS establishes domestic terror unit within its intelligence office Wasteful 'Endless Frontiers Act' won't counter China's rising influence Congress brings back corrupt, costly, and inequitably earmarks MORE (Okla.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRepublicans have dumped Reagan for Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP MORE (Ariz.), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOn The Money: Biden says workers can't turn down job and get benefits | Treasury launches state and local aid | Businesses jump into vax push Grassley criticizes Biden's proposal to provide IRS with B The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Infrastructure, Cheney ouster on deck as Congress returns MORE (Iowa), John CornynJohn CornynGOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Police reform talks hit familiar stumbling block CNN asks Carol Baskin to comment on loose Texas tiger MORE (Texas), John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Senate GOP dismayed by vote to boot Cheney Top Democrat: FCC actions are a 'potential setback' to autonomous vehicles MORE (S.D.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) were among those who signed the letter.

Reid and President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTop Democrat buys Funny Or Die Michelle Obama describes Barack's favorite movies: 'Everybody is sad, then they die' Obama calls on governments to 'do their part' in increasing global vaccine supply 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.