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:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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