House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Ranking Member

Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.


December 11, 2009

Letter from Rep. John Kline to Chairman George Miller re: Administration Advocacy for Direct Loan Conversion

The Honorable George Miller
Committee on Education and Labor
2181 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515 

Dear Chairman Miller: 

In recent months I have grown increasingly concerned by reports that Department of Education officials are improperly using taxpayer resources to advocate for the Administration’s proposal to eliminate the Federal Family Education Loan program. House and Senate Democrats have likewise questioned the Administration’s “aggressive outreach,” and the Wall Street Journal reported on December 5, 2009 that the leader of a large university recently refused to discuss the Administration’s tactics, “fearful that the feds are taking names.” Regardless of your position on the Administration’s student loan proposals, I hope you will agree with me that such tactics by Administration officials are deeply troubling and warrant Congressional oversight. 

I wrote to Secretary Duncan on November 3, 2009 to express my strong concerns that tactics being employed by Department officials may constitute improper political advocacy in contravention of the law. In that letter (enclosed), I requested specific documents and information from the Department that would permit this Committee to exercise its constitutional duty to oversee the Department. Unfortunately the Department’s response largely disregards these oversight requests. 

President Obama and Speaker Pelosi promised the American people open and transparent government. Unfortunately the Department of Education appears determined to stonewall legitimate congressional attempts to provide oversight of Administration activities. I therefore respectfully request that you immediately subpoena the documents I requested from the Secretary of Education on November 3 in order to provide the Committee and the American people a full and fair picture of their government.  


John Kline
Senior Republican Member

(Click here for a PDF copy of the letter)