Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is planning to massively expand investigations into the executive branch.
Issa plans to hold hundreds of hearings, create new subcommittees, and launch investigations into the bank bailout, the stimulus, and health care reform, according to Politico.
“I want seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks,” Issa said.
On Monday, Issa apologized for calling President Barack Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times” on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.
“Do I think the president is personally corrupt, no, I should never have implied that or created that in a quick statement on a radio call-in,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Despite lambasting the president on the radio, Issa says he will not use the Oversight Committee to wage partisan attacks against Obama and other Democrats.
“My job is not to bring down the president,” said Issa. “My job is to make the president a success… I’m going to stick to my knitting, which is waste, fraud and abuse, whenever possible.”
In October, Al Franken (D-MI) warned that Issa would use his subpoena power to conduct a “witch hunt in an effort to bring down the Obama administration.”
“Democrats on this committee will strongly reject any effort to use the committee as a partisan political vehicle against the administration,” said outgoing Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY). “It is my hope to work with the incoming chairman on issues important to the American people, instead of focusing on a divisive partisan political agenda.”
Issa’s says one of his main goals as the chairman of the Oversight Committee is to reduce the size of government.
“Bureaucracy is inherent in government and with the government playing a much larger role in people’s lives today than at any other time in our history, the best way to address this is to reduce the size and scope of government rather than enhance it,” he told CNBC on Tuesday. “The midterm elections told us that the American people want less government, not more.”
Along with launching investigations into Homeland Security, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, health care reform, and stimulus spending, Issa has expressed the need to investigate the “politicization of science.”
“In November 2009, in a scandal popularly referred to as ‘Climategate,’ a large volume of email messages and documents from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia were disclosed, raising serious questions about the research that led to the findings released by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),” Issa writes in a dossier released in September.
Issa has promised to investigate “Climategate,” despite the fact that a Penn State investigative panel “determined that there is no substance” to the allegations and that the climate scientists “did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.”
“I won’t accept anything as settled science because in the 1970s remember you had Jim Hansen talking about global cooling,” Issa told The Hill. “So I think science should always be filled with skeptics, and I want to make sure the skeptics are heard.”