U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), chair of the House oversight panel investigating the Trump administration’s child-separation policy, on Monday announced the full list of witnesses set to testify this week at the committee’s first oversight hearing on the administration’s controversial policy.
The hearing, scheduled to take place Feb 7, at 10:30am EST in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building, will be DeGette’s first as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations panel.
The list of witnesses comes just days after Jonathan White, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on behalf of HHS, filed a written declaration in federal court last Friday in which he admitted that HHS has not even “tried to determine the total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities.”
DeGette, who called the stunning admission “inexcusable,” released a written statement last Saturday suggesting that White “come prepared to answer some very direct questions” when he appears before the committee this week.
“The fact that this administration hasn’t even ‘tried to determine the total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities’ is inexcusable,” DeGette said. “These aren’t just numbers on a page, or names on a list – these are real kids, with real families, who are scared to death. Jonathan White, who wrote this recent report on behalf of the administration, will be appearing before my committee [this] week. I would suggest he come prepared to answer some very direct questions; and is able to explain, in detail, exactly what the administration is doing right now to solve this crisis and get these families back together.”
Following is the full list of witnesses set to testify Thursday: Kathryn A. Larin, U.S. Government Accountability Office; Rebecca Gambler, U.S. Government Accountability Office; Ann Maxwell, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General; Commander Jonathan White, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Lee Gelernt, American Civil Liberties Union; Jennifer Podkul, Kids in Need of Defense; Dr. Julie Linton, American Academy of Pediatrics; Dr. Cristina Muñiz de la Peña, on behalf of the American Psychological Association; Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff, Harvard Medical School; and Dona Abbott, Bethany Christian Services.
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