Congress has a responsibility under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the executive branch. The Committee on Government Reform has the specific responsibility to oversee whether laws and programs are being implemented and carried out in accordance with the intent of Congress and whether they should be continued, curtailed, or eliminated; the application, administration, execution, and effectiveness of laws and programs; and the organization and operation of federal agencies and entities having responsibilities for the administration and execution of laws and programs. As set forth in House Rule X, clause 4, the Committee also may, at any time, conduct investigations of any matter regardless of whether another standing committee has jurisdiction over the matter.
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.
Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay, and Rep. Paul W. Hodes introduced legislation to modernize the requirements of the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act and ensure that crucial records are preserved for historians.
Chairman Waxman writes the State Department to request the name of the companies that hired the contractors who gained unauthorized access to Senator Obama’s passport files and to urge the State Department to release this information to the public.
In a letter to CIA Inspector General Helgerson, Chairman Waxman and Ranking Member Davis respond to the CIA’s IG’s refusal to provide information concerning unimplemented recommendations, and reiterate the Committee request for the information.
Chairman Waxman wrote to the House Budget Committee to submit the views and estimates of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for the fiscal year 2009 budget. The submittal highlighted many of the Committee’s concerns about President Bush’s proposed budget, especially attempts to overturn good government legislation supported by the Committee and a failure to sufficiently address waste, fraud, and abuse in government spending.
In a letter to Kansas State Senate President Morris and Speaker Neufeld, Chairman Waxman thanked them for their invitation to visit and hear about a new coal-fired power plant proposed by Sunflower Electric, and reiterated his commitment to safeguarding taxpayer dollars from waste through oversight of the Rural Utility Service.
At 10:00 a.m., on February 26, 2008, the Committee held a hearing entitled “Electronic Records Preservation at the White House.”
On February 26, the Committee will hold a hearing to investigate White House compliance with the Presidential Records Act. Statements made at the January 17 White House press briefing contradict information provided to the Committee, which revealed that a 2005 White House analysis found no archived mail for hundreds of days between 2003 and 2005.
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.”
In letters to the White House and the National Archives, Chairman Waxman asks whether the White House has preserved its records according to the obligations of the Presidential Records Act, and what the White House has done to prepare for the transition of presidential records to the Archives in January 2009.
In a letter to the Attorney General, Chairman Waxman reiterated his request for documents from Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s investigation into the leak of the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson, noting the absence of any pending Justice Department investigation or litigation.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 wrote to Buzzy Krongard, the brother of State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard, requesting an interview and documents relating to Blackwater USA.
Chairman Waxman asks White House Counsel Fred Fielding to turn over more than 600 pages of documents relating to the activities of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff that are being withheld because they involve internal White House deliberations.
Chairman Waxman writes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to renew the Committee’s request for documents about the State Department’s $1 billion contract with DynCorp to train Iraqi police forces.
Today the House with a vote of 395-21 passed the Iraq Corruption Resolution, introduced on Friday, October 12, 2007, by Chairmen Waxman and Tierney. In his statement on the House floor, Chairman Waxman called the State Department abuses of the classification system “outrageous” and demanded answers to questions about corruption in Iraq.
House Chairmen Waxman, Lantos, Skelton, and Obey write the Secretary of State to express their concern about endemic corruption in Iraq and the refusal of State Department officials to answer basic questions about the impact of corruption within the Maliki government on the chances of success in Iraq.
Today Chairman Waxman wrote to Secretary Rice following reports that a Blackwater contractor, who was fired after he shot and killed an Iraq security guard, was hired by Combat Support Associates, another private contractor, to work in the region two months later. A letter was also sent to the President of Combat Support Associates requesting information about the former Blackwater contractor.
Investigators working for Howard Krongard, the State Department Inspector General, say they were told “Howard can fire you” and “You have no protection against reprisal” if they cooperate with the Oversight Committee’s investigation.
In a letter sent to Secretary Rice, Chairman Waxman objects to the State Department’s instruction to its officials that they cannot communicate with the Committee about corruption in the Maliki government unless the Committee agrees to treat all information, including “broad statements/assessments,” as national security secrets. Other points of growing contention between the Committee and the State Department include Secretary Rice’s refusal to testify.
Update: The State Department has sent a new letter to Blackwater informing Blackwater that the company should provide documents to the Committee.
Internal e-mails show that Transportation Secretary Mary Peters personally directed a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign approved by the White House to oppose EPA approval of California’s landmark standards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.
Displaying Items 26 to 50 of 223: