The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform conducts vigorous oversight to uncover waste, fraud, and abuse, to improve the operations of the federal government, and to examine wrongdoing in the private sector. The Committee has legislative jurisdiction over federal procurement, civil service, management and information policy.
The following links describe some of the oversight accomplishments of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the 110th Congress. For a summary of the Committee's legislative accomplishments, please view the legislation page.
EPA announced it would not go forward with regulation that would have degraded air quality in our National Parks and other areas with clean air.
EPA announced that it would not go forward with the regulation that would allow older power plants to increase their emissions of air pollutants and exacerbate global warming.
Following a May 15, 2008, Committee hearing revealing that the top four insurers made nearly $600 million in excess profits from coverage provided under the Defense Base Act (DBA) program, Congress passed legislation requiring that the Department of Defense develop a more cost-effective strategy for obtaining DBA insurance for agency contractors.
Following an April 2008 Committee hearing on healthcare-associated infections, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a “national action plan” to reduce the preventable deaths and illness that result from infections contracted by hospital patients.
Chairman Waxman has been investigating the dangers of lead-contaminated toys and jewelry since 2005 and his legislation, the Lead Free Toys Act, was enacted as part of H.R. 4040, a bill to reform the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
After over a decade of investigative efforts by Chairman Waxman, the House passed legislation introduced by Chairman Waxman and Ranking Member Davis to authorize FDA regulation of tobacco products.
In response to Committee investigations showing the loss and destruction of White House e-mails, the House on July 9, 2008, passed reform legislation requiring the Archivist to issue standards ensuring the preservation of White House e-mails. In addition, the White House responded to the Committee’s investigation with its own reforms that may reduce the use of political e-mail accounts for official business.
In response to the Committee’s investigation into formaldehyde levels in FEMA trailers, FEMA announced that it would relocate families to safer housing.
In response to a Committee hearing identifying extensive waste in the federal crop insurance program, Congress passed legislation estimated to produce $3.4 billion in savings from the crop insurance program.
A Committee hearing into uranium contamination on the Navajo Reservation prompted the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies to begin assessing the extent of contamination and to prepare clean up plans.
In response to the Committee’s investigation, the Special Counsel found that Lurita Doan, the Administrator of the General Services Administration, violated the federal Hatch Act when she asked GSA employees to assist Republican candidates for office. The Special Counsel reported this finding to President Bush and recommended that he discipline her “to the fullest extent” for her actions. On April 29, 2008, President Bush asked Ms. Doan to step down from GSA.
After the Committee raised questions about the conduct of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and its then-director, Dr. David Schwartz, the Director of the National Institutes of Health announced there would be a comprehensive review of Dr. Schwartz’s conduct and Dr. Schwartz resigned.
After the Committee raised questions about the cost and quality of the construction of the new U.S. embassy in Baghdad, the three State Department officials in charge of the project resigned and the Justice Department opened an investigation. New leadership was appointed to lead the construction effort.
As a result of a Committee investigation into the politicization of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Congress reduced the travel budget of the drug czar by 25% for fiscal year 2008. The budget limitation included an express warning that travel by agency officials “should occur for official business reasons only, not for political gain.”
After a Committee investigation questioned the effectiveness of the State Department Inspector General, the Inspector General resigned and new leadership took over the office.
In response to oversight by the Committee, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the Compendium of HIV Prevention Interventions with newly identified effective programs.
After Committee investigations raised significant questions about the conduct of Blackwater USA in Iraq, the House passed legislation to expand federal criminal jurisdiction over the conduct of private military contractors and the State Department implemented multiple administrative reforms. In addition, Congress enacted legislation requiring disclosure of the salaries of top company officials.
In response to a request by Chairman Waxman, the Department of Energy announced that it would prepare an environmental impact statement prior to the remediation of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.
In response to concerns raised by Chairman Waxman, the General Services Administration suspended a plan to hire contractors to conduct contract oversight and management.
Following a Committee hearing assessing the risks of the diabetes drug Avandia, the FDA announced the addition of two “black box” warnings on the drug label.
In response to conflict of interest concerns raised by Chairman Waxman and Senator Barbara Boxer, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences terminated a contract with Sciences International, a private contractor involved in reviewing the risks of bisphenol-A.
Within a week after the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs held the first hearing on the deplorable conditions at Walter Reed, the top Army officer at Walter Reed resigned. This hearing and three others held by the Committee and the Subcommittee also prompted a series of reforms in the care of wounded soldiers and veterans.
Following a Committee hearing into abuses in the $24 billion Deepwater contract, the Coast Guard announced it was transferring control over the contract from private contractors to the Coast Guard and initiating proceedings to recoup some of the taxpayer funds used to build defective ships.
In response to a Committee oversight hearing, the Department of Defense announced that it would withhold $19.6 million in unjustified charges attributable to KBR’s improper use of security subcontractors.
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