They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

DOT Defends Lobbying Congress For Auto Industry

The executive director of The Project on Government Oversight Danielle Brian said the “grass roots” language comes from a case under the Reagan administration where the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin were accused of illegally lobbying Congress. The case made it illegal for agencies to get community members involved in lobbying, but allowed agencies to contact members of Congress directly.

Despite the historical standard, Brian said she still thinks DOT’s argument is worth challenging. “I think its important not to just accept the executive branch’s opinion on what is acceptable,” Danielle said. “Congressional lawyers need to look at that law as well.”

Waxman is still pursuing the issue. He responded to the letter from DOT’s general counsel Knapp saying that there is a "need for a thorough examination of the facts”