WASHINGTON — A House Republican chairman has told a dozen government agencies to exclude communications with his committee from requests made by news organizations, advocacy groups and others through the Freedom of Information Act.

In a series of letters, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas said communications the agencies had with members of his panel and committee staff should not be released, arguing that they often include sensitive and confidential information.

“All such documents and communications constitute congressional records not ‘agency records’ for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act, and remain subject to congressional control even when in the physical possession of the” agency, Hensarling wrote in one April 3 letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Records and material from the executive branch are subject to requests under the 1967 Freedom of Information Act. Congress, which wrote the law, has exempted itself.

Hensarling’s letter to the Treasury Department was first reported by BuzzFeed. The AP obtained additional letters the Republican lawmaker sent to other agencies within the jurisdiction of his Financial Services Committee.