WASHINGTON — Two Republican senators are chastising the Treasury Department over its use of social media, arguing that the Obama administration is inappropriately using Twitter and Facebook to push its legislative priorities.

Sens. Orrin Hatch and Jerry Moran stated in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that when Treasury uses social media to advocate certain actions by Congress, it appears to be in violation of language in the law that appropriated funding to the Treasury Department, as well as a law that forbids agencies from using funds to encourage the public to contact members of Congress.

"Throughout many of your social media postings, there are links to presentations designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress," the senators wrote.

Specifically, the letter cited a recent social media push that brought readers to an infographic calling Republican funding proposals for the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission "Penny Wise and Pound Foolish."

Hatch, R-Utah, and Moran, R-Kan., asked Geithner to answer a series of questions about the Treasury Department's use of social media.

A Treasury spokesman acknowledged that the department received the letter but did not offer further comment.

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