The Department of Transportation is citing
"confidentiality interests of the Executive Branch" as the reason for hanging on to at least 53 documents the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants to see.
The committee requested the documents for its investigation into whether DOT improperly lobbied Congress on behalf of the auto industry. DOT maintains that anti-lobbying measures do not apply
in the alleged scheme because members of the agency contacted Congress directly. The measures only applies when an agency enlists citizens to lobby officials, lawyers for DOT argue.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) still wants a full look at the case. The situation emerged from California's request for an Environmental Protection Agency waiver that would allow it to heighten emissions standards in the state. When the deadline for EPA to make a decision neared, DOT employees contacted members of Congress about how the decision could affect the auto industry in their districts.