The top Congressional Democrats announced their opposition Thursday to the creation of a GOP-led bicameral committee to examine federal, state and local relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, ROLL CALL reported Thursday morning. Excerpts follow (full paid article.
Calling it a sham and a charade, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she will not appoint anyone from her Caucus to the joint committee. And Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will urge his Democratic colleagues not to serve on the panel, a senior aide said Thursday morning.
Democrats said they are frustrated that Republican leaders announced the formation of the committee Wednesday afternoon without first consulting them on the matter.
“Based on what he has seen so far, Sen. Reid is going to oppose this proposal and urge his Caucus to do so as well,” said Jim Manley, Reid’s spokesman.
Pelosi said she is “very disappointed” and “very offended” by the Republican leaders’ actions. She added that in order to be truly bipartisan, Democrats had to have been brought to the table at the outset, the committee membership must be evenly divided between the two parties, and the new panel must have “true subpoena power” and the authority to act.
Originally published on Thursday September 8, 2005.