Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) plans to have his future subcommittee chairs — Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), among others — to hold one or two hearings a week each, for a total of seven hearings a week during a 40-week period. Chaffetz, the current ranking member of the subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Post Office, and the District of Columbia, told TPMmuckraker that he’s up for that challenge.
“It’ll be a brisk pace, but in the majority, you’re given more resources. Certainly with our subpoena power we can get to the heart of the matter much more quickly than we did in the past,” Chaffetz told TPMmuckraker in an interview. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get after it.”
“It’s all about good government, and the open and transparency that’s been promised,” Chaffetz said. “My job is not to be a lapdog to the president, it’s to be a watchdog. Some of the big items include the stimulus, TARP, some of the new financial services organizations, these are all ripe for vigorous oversight. There’s enough material out there to keep the committee busy for a long, long time.”
Chaffetz raised some eyebrows when he said in an interview on MSNBC yesterday that an investigation into torture during “may be on the list” of things to investigate.
“I guess the point I was trying to make on MSNBC is I’m not bashful to go look into the Bush administration if it warrants it. Just because it was a Republican administration doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be looking into it,” Chaffetz said.
Chaffetz’s probable subcommittee chairmanship has worried many D.C. residents due to his stances on issues like the District’s autonomy and gay marriage. But it isn’t certain he’ll end up chairing the Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia Subcommittee. Still, Chaffetz said, he’ll have a hand in the those issues even on another subcommittee.
“I don’t know, I think they very well may reshuffle the deck. I expect to be heavily involved, but I don’t know how we’re going to allocate the subcommittees,” Chaffetz said. “At any level we’ll be doing it in the full committee, so whether or not I’m on the subcommittee, we wouldn’t know until December.”
A spokesman for Issa said the committee was still figuring out which members of Congress would be placed in various positions. He said Issa will likely meet with Vice President Joe Biden during the lame duck session.