Incoming House Oversight chair pledges hard line on waste

Harry Hamburg/AP
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued yet another warning to the White House on Sunday that he will launch in depth investigations into wasteful government spending when he takes the gavel this week.

And Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who will be the Democrats' ranking member on the committee, indicated Sunday that he may be on board with some of Issa's investigations.

Issa has been very critical of the Obama administration, particularly for its nearly $800 billion economic stimulus package. He has said that he will investigate abuse in the dispersement of those funds.

The Republican, who will gain the committee's subpoena power as chairman, said his investigations into stimulus spending will likely lead to calls to punitive action. On Fox News Sunday, Issa said that "as you shed light on it, you build the American people's demand that we realize that the president took two years to find out that nothing is shovel ready."

"And you know why nothing is shovel ready?" he continued. "Because the bureaucracy slows down those road programs and the things that the president said was so important."

Issa also said the White House should hire more accountants, not lawyers, in preparation for the investigations.

On CNN's State of the Union, Cummings indicated that he is willing to work with Issa. "We're going to do it in a bipartisan way here if Mr. Issa cooperates," Cummings said. "I'm going to hold this administration to a very high standard."

Notably, Issa also struck a somewhat conciliatory tone with with Obama administration on other issues. On CNN's State of the Union, Issa said he spoke to Vice President Joe Biden shortly after the election. "President Obama has the same goal I have," Issa said on CNN. "Let's first find the fraud. Then we can figure out how not to spend the money."

Issa also said he would not investigate the Obama administration for offering then-Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) a job in the administration to prevent him from challenging Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary. Sestak refused the offer and defeated Specter in the primary, before losing the general election to Republican Pat Toomey.

Such an offer "was wrong if it was done in the Bush administration," Issa said. And "it was wrong in the Obama administration." But, he added, the committee's focus is rooting out "waste, fraud and abuse."

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

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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