Congress Takes Aim at White House Openness

Some members claim the White House visitor logs are not useful.

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Thus, administration officials were not present to hear the repeated recommendations that disclosure rules be enhanced. Weismann lamented that the administration's larger transparency effort lacks "particular requirements" and relies instead on "laudable goals," and Wonderlich recommended that Congress not treat the visitor logs as "a replacement for lobbying disclosure" and instead focus its efforts on creating better disclosure rules. But change in the White House may be a long time coming. As Weismann says "I don't think any White House is receptive to direct regulation. I think that is a sphere that every president, whichever party they are, protects." Until that changes, visitor log browsers may have to content themselves looking up their favorite celebrities, in place of having a more complete record of those who actually peddle political influence.

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