With Obama as a lame duck and Hillary not yet installed the NY Times editors breathe the air of freedom:
Let Inspectors General Do Their Job
In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, Congress in 1978 passed the Inspector General Act, establishing independent watchdogs whose job it is to uncover waste, fraud or abuse across scores of federal departments and agencies.
These public servants are “our eyes and ears within the executive branch,” as Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa described them in December.
Under the 1978 law, inspectors general, who are based in the agencies, have access to “all records” needed to do their job. But since the early days of the Obama administration, many agencies have systematically thwarted that access for whole categories of information — including, most notably, grand jury testimony, personal credit data and information from wiretaps.
The effect has been to slow down investigations into, among other things, the shooting of civilians during Drug Enforcement Administration raids in Honduras, sexual assaults in the Peace Corps and the F.B.I.’s antiterrorism powers. Inspectors general have spent time and taxpayer dollars arguing for access to documents they should, by law, have in hand — denying the American people the robust scrutiny of their federal government.
Congress is bipartisanly bothered:
Congress is currently considering a bipartisan bill [RCP link], sponsored by Mr. Grassley, to make clear once again that inspectors general may not be hindered in performing basic, critical review. The bill has been held up in the Senate since last year for unexplained reasons.
It is no surprise that government officials don’t want their wrongdoing or incompetence made public. Inspectors general are on the front lines of ensuring the transparency needed if government is to be held accountable. They should have unfettered access to the materials they need to do their job.
The betting line is that if the Times can't figure out who is obstructing the bill, it is the Democrats. Et voila - this is from Sen. Grassley's office last Dec. 15 but the lack of unanimous Senate consent on a procedural question is surely not in dispute:
Senator Chuck Grassley today on the Senate floor asked unanimous consent for the Senate to begin consideration of a bill to ensure that inspectors general across the federal bureaucracy have timely access to all records needed to complete a thorough and independent investigation. Grassley’s unanimous consent request was objected to by Senate minority leader Harry Reid in an effort to hide the identities of members who are holding up passage of the bill. The objection was made in violation of the spirit of the Standing Order of the Senate that says members who have holds on legislation must be identified.
At a guess, this might be tangled up with the investigation into Hillary's emails so running out the clock is critical for the Dems.