Issa’s muddle of hearings
~ In an interview with Univision, President Obama said "a serious mistake"
may have been made in the Project Gunrunner situation. He noted that the Justice Department Inspector General will be conducting an investigation of the matter and said "we'll hold someone accountable" if a improper behavior is uncovered in that investigation. Darrell Issa continued to press his own investigation independent of the Justice Department, which is at direct odds with his own standard for the Oversight Committee. In 2007, he told C-Span "we're supposed to allow the Administration to do its investigation, and then we do oversight -- we're not investigators.
" That sentiment hasn't prevented Issa from issuing subpoenas over the incident, it seems that since control of the White House changed and Issa got the gavel, his tune has changed significantly.
~ All of this is conveniently (for Issa) distracting from Issa's other continuing debacles. First and foremost is last week's report that Issa used federal earmarks to improve infrastructure around property his family's company owns in Vista, to the tune of nearly $1 million
. On the administrative side, Issa's hypocritical
pursuit of net neutrality and the FCC hit another major snag in the last week, when committee Democrats released a report saying Issa dramatically inflated the numbers in his initial claims. Issa claimed that the chair of the FCC made 81 visits to the White House in alleging improper meddling by the Obama administration, but the new analysis by committee Democrats puts the number at 34
-- much less than half of Issa's claim.
“Any way you cut it, the claim that Genachowski visited the White House 81 times is a mischaracterization,” according to the analysis.
~ Issa has made the ongoing financial health of the postal service a top priority since taking over the committee, including a full-committee hearing on the subject tomorrow morning. Ahead of that hearing, the Postmaster General announced that a new labor contract will save $3.8 billion
in less than five years. Awkwardly for Issa, he "has called the contract a 'missed opportunity' to cut costs."
~ Issa is also digging into the controversial Yucca Mountain
nuclear waste dump site. Sparked again by the ongoing disaster in Japan, Issa is reviewing a comprehensive report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, released over the vehement objection of the NRC's chairman who worries it will set a "dangerous precedent."
~ Issa's pet school voucher program passed the House last week. It would bring back DC school vouchers over the objection
of DC mayor Vince Gray and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton who said that “Home rule means nothing if the District of Columbia can still be a dumping ground for every pet idea and pet project of the majority.”