No one could have predicted this would happen:
In a bid to beef up House Republicans’ ability to scrutinize an Obama administration, incoming House Oversight and Government Reform ranking member Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is moving to increase the GOP side of the panel’s oversight power.
A day after he was formally selected as ranking member last week, Issa ousted 14 of 39 Republican committee staffers, including many senior aides. Outgoing staffers said they were told the panel’s minority will shift its focus away from legislation toward oversight of federal agencies.
By bringing in aides with investigative backgrounds, committee Republicans believe they can increase their capacity to conduct independent investigations, despite lacking the majority’s subpoena power.
And you know what? This is what they are supposed to do. Still, it is pretty funny given the GOP obstruction of oversight of the past eight years. One of Issa’s shining moments in the sun, using parliamentary tricks and delaying tactics to make sure Doug Feith did not have time to provide testimony to Congress:
It should come as no surprise that the culprit was none other than Rep. Steve King, who, through sheer schoolboy effrontery in a House subcommittee last week, muted the testimony of Douglas Feith, one of the key architects of the Bush administration’s systematized disregard for the Geneva Convention. King’s constituents had a right, as did the nation at large, to hear Feith answer for his part in making a spurious case for war.***
Evoking the memory of that fateful day, King asked the committee’s chairman whether there was adequate time for an opening statement. Issa followed suit by raising a parliamentary inquiry, a failed attempt to “summon” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Issa’s distraction allowed King the time to piece together yet another speech in the guise of a clarification. The pair then insisted upon recognizing an archaic five-minute limit on questioning, which is hardly, if ever, observed. This measure proved to be debilitating. As each representative raised her or his questions, Feith found himself pressed for time with his answers. The back and forth that ensured was confusing at best. Each exchange was highly constrictive and limited in its clarity. The subcommittee chairman, Jerrold Nadler of New York, was continually forced to remind those present that, “the time of the gentleman” had expired.
More on his antics here. Wankers.