Darrell Issa reveals list of investigations
By Jake Sherman
Rep. Darrell Issa is aiming to launch investigations on everything from WikiLeaks to Fannie Mae to corruption in Afghanistan in the first few months of what promises to be a high profile chairmanship of the top oversight committee in Congress.
According to an outline of the committee’s hearing topics obtained by POLITICO, the House Oversight and Government Reform is also planning to investigate how regulation impacts job creation, the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the foreclosure crisis; recalls at the Food and Drug Administration and the failure of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to agree on the causes of the market meltdown.
This sweeping and specific hearing agenda shows that Issa (R-Calif.) plans to cut a wide swath as chairman, latching onto hot button issues that could make his committee the center of attention in the opening months of the 112th Congress. By grabbing such a wide portfolio – especially in national security matters – Issa is also laying down a marker of sorts, which could cement his panel as the go-to place for investigations.
An order for hearings has not been set and witnesses have not yet been notified. The committee staff is still moving offices, and subcommittees are currently being organized. Hearings aren’t likely to begin until late January or early February.
Issa’s broad portfolio of investigations – some of which could the Obama administration — harkens back to the days of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) squaring off against the Bush administration and Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) picking fights with Bill Clinton’s White House.