The full committee held a hearing to examine the public health consequences of infections of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outside of hospitals and other healthcare settings, including the measures people can take to reduce the risk of MRSA infections and what these infections tell us about the public health challenges in addressing such infections.
This hearing examined the implications of the Environmental Protection Agency’s refusal to consider the global warming effects of a coal-fired power plant’s greenhouse gas emissions in a recent permitting decision. The hearing provided an opportunity for EPA to explain its position and current plans for addressing greenhouse gas emissions. Regulators and experts testified about the effects of EPA’s decisions, as well as how EPA could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new stationary sources.
Rep. Henry A. Waxman announced at a congressional hearing with EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson that he will introduce legislation that establishes a moratorium on the approval of new coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act until EPA finalizes regulations to address the greenhouse gas emissions from these sources. Under this legislation, a Clean Air Act permit for a new coal-fired power plant could not be issued unless the plant uses state-of-the-art technology to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The bill will also prohibit any person who builds a new coal-fired power plant without carbon controls from receiving allowances under future climate change legislation.
The Committee held a hearing to assess the performance of State Department Inspector General Howard J. Krongard following a series of allegations that the Inspector General halted investigations, censored reports, and refused to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
An undercover GAO investigation of airport security checkpoints succeeded in passing through TSA screening checkpoints undetected with liquids and other materials that could be combined to make a dangerous improvised explosive device.
The Committee examined whether TSA’s airport security checkpoints have improved over the last year. The hearing reviewed the findings of an investigation conducted by GAO into the effectiveness of airport security checkpoints.
Chairman Waxman wrote to Buzzy Krongard, the brother of State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard, requesting an interview and documents relating to Blackwater USA.
The Oversight Committee will hold a hearing after the Thanksgiving recess to examine whether Howard Krongard, the Inspector General of the State Department, provided truthful testimony at the Committee’s November 14, 2007, hearing.
Chairman Waxman requests documents from EPA relating to the Department of Transportation’s lobbying efforts against California’s efforts to address global warming.
Chairman Waxman released a draft of an internal FDA guidance that would allow drug companies to use journal articles to promote potentially dangerous uses of drugs and medical devices without prior FDA review and approval.
Chairman Waxman wrote FCC Chairman Martin requesting details about the relationship between the Public Safety Spectrum Trust Corporation (PSST) and any for-profit entities that are serving as advisors.
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.
White House objections are preventing Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald from providing the Oversight Committee with records from interviews of White House officials taken during his investigation into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity.
Chairman Waxman wrote to FDA Commissioner von Eschenbach, Secretary Leavitt, and OMB Director Nussle regarding the FDA Science Board’s Subcommittee on Science and Technology report that found that funding shortages at FDA have undermined science and endangered public health. Chairman Waxman urges these agencies to request adequate funding and resources for FDA.
On Wednesday December 5th, the Committee held a hearing to examine the role played by compensation consultants in determining the pay packages of senior executives at the largest publicly traded corporations. Corporate governance experts, institutional investors, and compensation consulting firms testified regarding the role of consultants in setting executive pay, efforts to prevent and manage conflicts of interest, and the adequacy of the information available to shareholders and the public.
Chairman Waxman and Ranking Minority Member Davis ask Special Counsel Bloch for an interview regarding reports that he directed the deletion of files on office computers.
In a letter to HHS Secretary Leavitt, Chairman Waxman expressed concern over reports of serious problems in the HHS-supported maternity hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan.
State Department Inspector General Howard J. Krongard announced his resignation today. In response to the announcement, Chairman Waxman released the following statement:
“Mr. Krongard’s decision removes an enormous distraction from the Inspector General’s office and will allow the office to focus on its important oversight responsibilities. The Committee will certainly take this new development into account.”
As part of the Committee’s ongoing investigations into waste, fraud, and abuse in federal spending, Chairman Waxman requested information regarding unimplemented recommendations from Inspectors General at 63 federal agencies.
After a Committee investigation questioned the effectiveness of the State Department Inspector General, the Inspector General resigned and new leadership took over the office.
The Oversight Committee approved a report that concludes that the Bush Administration has censored climate change scientists, edited climate change reports, and misled policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.
On Thursday, the Committee held a hearing to examine whether all the charitable groups raising money for the purpose of helping our nation’s veterans are genuinely serving that need. Concerns have been raised that some charities are conducting high volume mail and telemarketing campaigns that enrich the organizations and fundraisers but fail to provide meaningful assistance to veterans.
Rep. Waxman, Sen. Kennedy, and Rep. Roybal-Allard introduced a package of bills that will help ensure that adults have access to life-saving vaccines. These vaccines include a new vaccine against the virus that causes cervical cancer as well as vaccines again seasonal influenza, certain pneumonias, Hepatitis B, and shingles, among others.
Following the release of the Mitchell report, Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Ranking Minority Member Tom Davis released a statement. Chairman Waxman has scheduled a hearing on January 15, 2008 to further examine steroid use and the Mitchell report.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing to examine whether all the charitable groups raising money for the purpose of helping our nation’s veterans are genuinely serving that need. Although a large number of charities are fulfilling their mission, serious questions have been raised about some groups.
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