A Tale of Two Oversight Investigations

A Tale of Two Oversight Investigations

On his way up to New Hampshire to speak next month, Congressman Darrell Issa should stop in Trenton, New Jersey, to witness what aggressive legislative branch oversight looks like. Now that I think about it, Speaker John Boehner should definitely join him on the road trip. 

Whether you agree with them or not, New Jersey Democrats are taking some traffic on a bridge and milking it for everything it’s worth.

When I read yesterday that not one but two special committees have been formed to investigate traffic cones in Fort Lee, I wondered what could have been. What if Speaker John Boehner’s House majority with Issa as its chief investigator were as forward-leaning and aggressive with their investigations of the Benghazi terrorist attack and the political targeting scandal at the Internal Revenue Service?

When’s the last time you read something like this coming out of a U.S. House investigation?

In another day of political drama and legal maneuvering, two new legislative committees were formed Thursday to investigate the George Washington Bridge scandal and within hours, 20 subpoenas were issued to 17 key people and three organizations in the unfolding story.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is called aggressive, hard-nosed oversight. Someone please inform Speaker John Boehner and Chairman Darrell Issa. Both Houses in New Jersey have created special committees to issue subpoenas to probe traffic jams and John Boehner can’t even hold a vote to form a select committee to investigate a terrorist attack that killed four Americans including a U.S. Ambassador? To make matters worse, that select committee resolution (H. Res. 36) has 181 co-sponsors. In case you didn’t know, only 51 Republicans have not signed on to this resolution. This is more than enough to hold a vote, but Boehner won’t do it because he doesn’t want to upset some of his committee chairmen like Darrell Issa. What a disgrace.

National Democrats are clearly taking Governor Chris Christie very seriously. Why isn’t the Republican leadership in the U.S. House as concerned about the current occupant of the White House – the man who says he is trying to fundamentally transform the United States of America?

When it comes to legislative branch oversight at the federal level, naiveté and timidity are not good characteristics to have on display. Don’t get me wrong, there are several House Republicans who have proven to be solid investigators and tough questioners at public hearings, but to the detriment of truth-seeking Americans, their leadership – Boehner and Issa among them – are holding them back from learning more.