Congress kicks Bush ass - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 08-22-2007, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
FeelTheLove's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 83 Astral Silver 280 SL
Location: Planet Houston
Posts: 28,829
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Congress kicks Bush ass

Dems can't pass bills, but they wield a mean subpoena

Story Highlights
Hearings get little attention but are exposing GOP missteps, changing policies

Power to oversee, investigate balances Democrats' difficulty passing bills

Spurred probes into FEMA trailers, Tillman's friendly fire death

Caused Army to get back millions in overpayments to private contractors in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional Democrats are using subpoenas and other investigatory powers to expose Bush administration missteps and push for policy changes even as they struggle at times to enact legislation.

Backed by hundreds of hearings that compel the administration's attention but often draw scant publicity, House and Senate Democrats are leaving their stamp on a range of governmental matters, without passing a bill.

Congressional inquiries have prompted the Federal Emergency Management Agency to test trailers used by displaced hurricane victims for formaldehyde poisoning. They triggered a Justice Department investigation into Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' role in firing federal prosecutors.

Other probes spurred the Army to recover millions of dollars in overpayments to private security contractors in Iraq. And the mere threat of Democratic-run hearings prompted President Bush, after months of resisting, to submit a controversial warrantless wiretap program to a special court's review.

Congress' oversight and investigative powers are especially vital to Democrats because a potent GOP minority in the Senate has kept them from passing legislation on issues such as immigration and an Iraq withdrawal plan.

"Maybe it's even more important than legislation," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, a key player who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Democrats' ability to conduct such hearings "has been the most important change since the 2006 election in terms of relations between the Congress and the administration," said Thomas E. Mann, a Brookings Institution scholar and co-author of a book on Congress, "The Broken Branch."

"I have no doubt the hearings have altered the course the administration has taken on a range of areas, including Iraq," Mann said.

The White House has complained bitterly about the sharp increase in congressional inquiries since Democrats took over the House and Senate in January.

"I would hope Congress would become more prone to deliver pieces of legislation that matter as opposed to being the investigative body," Bush said at an August 9 news conference. "I mean, there have been over 600 different hearings, and yet they're struggling with getting appropriations bills to my desk."

Democrats call the inquiries long overdue after years of GOP-controlled congresses treating the administration with a light touch. "I don't think Congress is overdoing the oversight," Waxman said in an interview.

New or expanded congressional inquiries seem to pop up almost daily. On July 17, Waxman called on a former White House political aide to testify about trips made by top federal drug policy officials to help GOP congressional candidates in the 2006 campaign's closing weeks.

The aide, Sara Taylor, had appeared only a week earlier before a Senate panel that subpoenaed her testimony about the prosecutor firings.


Waxman's panel is conducting a multi-agency search for missing e-mail records to and from White House officials who had electronic message accounts with the Republican National Committee.

The House Judiciary Committee has approved contempt citations against White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former counsel Harriet Miers because they refused to testify about the fired U.S. attorneys.

The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is looking into allegations that the Smithsonian Institution toned down a climate change exhibit to avoid angering lawmakers and the Bush administration.

Waxman says he will introduce legislation to protect the surgeon general from political interference, following a hearing in which a former surgeon general said the administration muzzled him on sensitive public health matters.

Waxman's committee is conducting an inquiry into the administration's handling of the friendly fire death of former NFL player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, which has proved embarrassing to the White House and Pentagon.

Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, the top Republican on the House oversight committee, has joined Waxman in criticizing FEMA's formaldehyde policies and in pursuing the Tillman case. But on other topics, he says the chairman sometimes goes overboard.

"When you have one-party government, you tend to under-investigate," Davis said in an interview. "And when you have divided government, you tend to over-investigate." E-mail to a friend
FeelTheLove is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Congress Approval Down to 29%; Bush Approval Steady at 33% Jakarta Expat Off-Topic 6 05-15-2007 02:09 PM
    Bush poll ratings drop to a dismal 33%, GOP Rubber Stamp Congress drops even lower FeelTheLove Off-Topic 28 09-06-2006 06:17 PM
    Congress Renews Patriot Act; Bush to Sign Check Codes Off-Topic 4 03-09-2006 10:15 AM
    KICKS M3 ASS TAD C208/A208 CLK-Class 10 04-11-2001 03:44 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome