Tax Notes reporter Warren Rojas writes that Democrats Bob Matsui (Calif.), Henry Waxman (Calif.), Lloyd Doggett (Texas), Earl Pomeroy (N.Dak), and Xavier Becerra (Calif.) have introduced legislation to block the president's bipartisan social security panel from holding closed door discussions. Current law, say these legislators, requires government advisory committees to hold public hearings and meetings. However, they claim that the social security reform panel has not followed the law. Instead, the panel's cochairs have permitted the 16-member panel to split into smaller groups to gather information.
The cochairs of the social security panel explain that the subgroups did not violate federal laws and regulations governing public meetings because the subgroups did not make any decisions.
Matsui counters that "as you talk and deliberate and move toward a conclusion, that is part of the decisionmaking process."
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