Congressman Darrell Issa, Floyd Reports
The unparalleled encroachment of the federal government in the private sector and the lives of individual Americans that began during the Bush Administration and continues in the Obama Administration (see, for example, the Troubled Assets Protection Program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the rapid growth of the federal workforce, and the health care and financial overhauls) has led to concerns of an oncoming tsunami of opacity, waste, fraud, and abuse. This trend must be met by vigorous Congressional oversight of the massive federal bureaucracy.
The vast expansion of the power and reach of the executive branch of government under both Republican and Democratic administrations has only increased the need for vigorous, unflinching congressional oversight. Under one-party rule in Washington, with Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress and the executive branch, the majority reiterated its commitment to congressional oversight.
Unfortunately, since President Obama took office 19 months ago, the country has seen the emergence of a large accountability gap. Congress’ chief watchdog committee has failed repeatedly to conduct meaningful and sustained investigations and hold federal executives and bureaucrats responsible for the unprecedented levels of waste, fraud, and abuse that such rapid growth has nurtured.
Despite repeated requests by the Republican minority for oversight hearings, joint investigations, and subpoenas, and despite myriad news reports raising allegations of waste, fraud, and other misconduct, the Oversight Committee and the Democratic-controlled Congress have overwhelmingly shunned responsible but tough oversight of the Obama administration.
As of August 2010, the Republican members of the Oversight Committee had sent 46 letters to the Democratic Chairman of the committee or its subcommittee chairs requesting hearings, additional witnesses at hearings, or subpoenas of important documents related to significant investigations. Formal responses were received for only six of those requests.
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