WASHINGTON, May 3 (UPI) -- House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee charged that White House staffers held meetings at a local coffee shop to avoid disclosure requirements.
"White House staff apparently purposely schedule meetings at the Caribou Coffee around the corner from the White House so that those meetings won't show up on the White House logs," said Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of the oversight subcommittee.
Republicans are accusing the White House of failing to live up to campaign promises of transparency, The Hill reported Tuesday.
Stearns said Barack Obama, as a candidate, promised healthcare negotiations would air on C-SPAN, something that never came to pass.
Other Republicans joined the chorus of complaints.
"This president has apparently gone out of his way to avoid transparency even though he said he would be transparent," Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said.
Democrats defended the White House.
"There is nothing wrong with someone going out for a cup of coffee," Diana DeGette, D-Colo., ranking member of the subcommittee, said.
GOP members slammed the White House for failing to appear at the hearing, while full committee ranking member Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said the White House got only a few days notice.
The hearing was an attempt to "embarrass an administration" that wanted to make its case but simply had a schedule conflict, he said.