Senate Dems unveil plans for nationwide hearings on Iraq

Senate Democrats said Wednesday they plan to hold hearings around the country on Iraq before and after the November elections.

Democrats accused Senate Republicans of failing to conduct significant oversight of military operations, construction and contracting policies in Iraq, highlighting reports of intelligence failures as well as waste and fraud. "They've held some here and there but very few significant hearings," said Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Byron Dorgan of North Dakota.

Dorgan kicks off the first hearing Monday in Washington and is expected to announce more details about future proceedings. Democrats denied that the timing of the oversight hearings is linked to the upcoming midterm elections, saying they have extended invitations to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Republican Policy Committee Chairman Jon Kyl of Arizona as well as other GOP senators.

Dorgan added that the hearings would not be held in battleground states ahead of the elections. "It has nothing to do with that," Dorgan said. Yet Senate Democratic Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer of New York added that if Democrats win the majority this fall, they would continue their investigations next year.

Republicans pounced on Democrats' plans, saying they were planning campaign events to try to court voters displeased with the situation in Iraq.

"They're just staging a performance with little substance and no proposals," said Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who tied Democrats' hearings with their call for withdrawing U.S. troops in Iraq. "This is just another dangerous idea," he said, and argued that the Senate Intelligence Committee consistently holds closed-door meetings with administration officials to protect U.S. military strategy.

DeMint conceded that Republicans have struggled recently to effectively deliver their message to voters on Iraq, but said President Bush's series of speeches this month helped to define the administration's efforts.

"We're beginning to see the polls go up," he said, adding Republicans would continue to talk about the ramifications of withdrawing troops from Iraq on the campaign trail next month. "As soon as you do that, people get it," he said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.