New Oversight Chair Meeting With Biden
Right now, if the schedule has held up, Vice President Joe Biden is being pressed on oversight measures by the GOP's new oversight don, California Congressman Darrell Issa.
Issa, the incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee, was slated to meet with Biden at 3 p.m. According to a congressional aide, Issa will likely raise these points with the VP:
- Stimulus dollars. Issa reached out to Biden after the midterms on the topic of tracking stimulus money and enforcing the requirement that stimulus recipients report how they're using the money. He'll follow up on that today. Stimulus oversight seems to be a major priority of Issa's.
- Subpoena power for inspectors general. Another of Issa's major priorities, the congressman wants to grant subpoena power to the inspectors general of federal agencies. Currently only the Defense Dept. IG retains that power, according to the aide.
- Technology and transparency. In addition to improvements to Recovery.gov that would, presumably, track stimulus spending more effectively, Issa will probably raise the notion of using technology to make the federal bureaucracy more transparent.
When the new Congress convenes January 3, Issa will find himself in position to make life difficult for the Obama administration. He'll have subpoena power, plus double the staff and funding that his Democratic committee counterparts enjoy. Some Democrats are worried about potential witch hunts and investigative rampages, which Issa has said he's not interested in conducting.
Still, it would behoove the administration to build a good relationship with its possible tormentor.