The White House is "sticking by our guns" in ordering Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Anne M. Gorsuch not to release documents to the Congress about EPA's handling of the 1980 hazardous waste cleanup program.
"We have worked with the House Public Works and Transportation committee in order to try to resolve the problems and substantially reduce the number of documents that they were after," said White House spokesman Larry Speakes.
"We have not solved the confrontation," he added. "The documents in question are sensitive investigative files and we are sticking by our guns. If we can reach some accommodation with the committee we'd be glad to but thus far we have not been able to."
The House is expected to vote today on a contempt of Congress citation forwarded by the public works committee because Gorsuch refused, at Reagan's behest, to turn over the documents. If the House cites Gorsuch for contempt, the Justice Department could be asked to proscute her or she could be arrested by the House sergeant at arms.
On Tuesday a subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce cited her for contempt in connection with the issue.
Gorsuch has refused to turn over to the subcommittee 42 documents covering the management of the $1.6 billion "Superfund" that Congress created to pay for cleaning up hazardous wastes and for prosecuting companies that dumped the waste.