The incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is promising an array of oversight investigations that could provoke sharp disagreement with Republicans and the White House.
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., pledged that Democrats, swept to power in the Nov. 7 elections, would govern “in the middle” next year. But the veteran lawmaker has a reputation as one who has never avoided a fight and he did not back away from that reputation on Sunday.
Among the investigations he said he wants the committee to undertake:
- The new Medicare drug benefit. “There are lots and lots and lots of scandals,” he said, without citing specifics.
- Spending on government contractors in Iraq, including Halliburton Co., the Texas-based oil services conglomerate once led by Vice President Dick Cheney.
- An energy task force overseen by Cheney. It “was carefully cooked to provide only participation by oil companies and energy companies,” Dingell said.
Meanwhile, the incoming chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee said his committee would not take on contentious issues, such as extending expiring tax cuts or overhauling Social Security, at the beginning of the year. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Democrats do not want a fight with President Bush and want to prove they can govern. more
Oversight, oversight. Oversight. I can’t say it enough. Without oversight you get Iraq!