Issa: Obama Administration Will Be Held Accountable

Newport Beach, Calif.—Predicting that Republicans will win control of the House next month and that he will then be chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.) vowed that the Obama Administration will be held accountable “like they’ve never been held accountable.”

In discussing the use of investigatory and subpoena power that would come with his chairmanship of the committee, Issa reminded the Western Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday of past Democratic demands for tougher oversight when Republicans held the White House.

He quoted former Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D.-Calif.) as warning that the Bush Administration “can refuse to give us information, but that would be very unfortunate for them.” He also quoted Nancy Pelosi in ’07 as saying the Democratic Congress would be different in that it would be “shedding light and oversight of accountability on this administration.”

Issa asked the audience who vowed in ’07 that the Democratic Congress would be “ferreting out waste and fraud” in the Bush Administration.

“The answer,” Issa said, “is Rahm Emanuel.”

Following his address, the San Diego Republican told HUMAN EVENTS that he planned to investigate the policy of offering federal positions as political rewards. The issue was magnified this year following claims by Colorado’s Andrew Romanoff and Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak that the Obama White House had offered them federal positions in return for not running against Democratic incumbents for the Senate.

Issa made it clear that he intended to investigate the practice in Republican Administrations and this would include claims that George W. Bush’s White House also tried to keep candidates from running for office with federal posts.

“Just because Andrew Jackson started the ‘spoils system’ way back when doesn’t mean it is legal or should not be investigated,” said Issa.