Op-Eds

Jun 10, 2011

Assessing the Gulf Coast Response

For more than a year, the House Oversight Committee has been investigating the federal response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster that took the lives of 11 workers and caused one of the worst environmental and economic disasters in U.S. history. The evidence from this fact-based investigation demonstrates the negative consequences when an administration fails to adequately assess the extent of a crisis or the response necessary to mitigate it. Indeed, a pattern of poor judgment and bad ...

  • Energy
May 27, 2011

Obama’s Bad Policy, Harmful Regulations Add to Gas Prices

Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and a former member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Gasoline prices continued to rise across the nation last week, putting the cost per gallon to more than one dollar over this time last year. As rising energy prices threaten economic recovery, Congress has ...

  • Energy
May 12, 2011

D.C. Can Slow Rising Gas Prices

As gas prices across the United States approach four dollars a gallon, Congress has a responsibility to ensure that political agendas and the administration’s bureaucratic delays do not block efforts to lower energy costs and use our nation’s abundant natural resources. Increasing oil and gas production – both offshore and on –is essential to our energy future. We need to rely far more on hydraulic fracturing, a proven, safe technology.. We must also eliminate the excessive regulatory ...

  • Energy
May 12, 2011

Politicizing Procurement

When President Obama took office, he promised to lead a new era of government accountability. In fact, his administration was to be marked by an “unprecedented level of openness and transparency.” Yet recent signals from the White House raise serious questions about the president’s interest in transparency as a tool for responsible government and the potential that transparency will instead become a weapon of partisan political activity. Weeks ago, the administration circulated a ...

  • Open Government
May 3, 2011

The Presidential Records Act & Protecting America’s Right to Know

Since the passage of the Presidential Records Act 33 years ago, electronic media and information technology have proliferated across the federal government. Yet Congress has not undertaken a legislative effort to update the law and meet the demands of the digital information age. Three different presidents have issued executive orders to supplement the Presidential Records Act, but each has addressed issues relating to presidential privilege or the restriction of access to presidential ...

  • Open Government
Apr 20, 2011

The Gulf is Still Waiting for More Drilling Permits

On the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the administration’s de facto moratorium, or “permitorium,” on offshore drilling has resulted in higher prices for gas and heating fuel in addition to costing thousands of Americans jobs and making the country more dependent on foreign oil. Indeed, it appears that the administration has found in the Gulf disaster the justification for its political bias against domestic oil and gas ...

  • Regulation & Jobs
Apr 20, 2011

Why are Spending Cuts So Hard?

Why was it so hard to get a budget passed that kept the federal government open for the remainder of this year? Why did it take the imminent threat of a complete government shutdown to broker a deal that cut $38.5 billion from the 2011 budget? The American people have a right to know the answers to these questions. To be sure, a government shutdown of the magnitude nearly realized would have been disastrous. For weeks, the entire country was consumed with the possibility that basic government ...

  • Wasteful Spending
Mar 30, 2011

Giving Students a Chance at Success

The House is due to vote Wednesday on reinstating the Opportunity Scholarship Program for the District of Columbia. This is a critical education reform that can offer low-income students and their parents the chance to break out of low-performing public schools and receive a quality education. The reauthorized program would give an annual voucher of $8,000 for elementary students and $12,000 for secondary students within 185 percent of the poverty line. It could make it possible for thousands ...

  • Education
Mar 9, 2011

SEC Chair Fails to Disclose a Conflict in the Madoff Matter

Mary Schapiro, current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission,did not create all the problems at the SEC. Like many commissioners before her, she inherited most of them. From a technologically backward process for reviewing corporate filings and an inability to detect fraud to an unwieldy management structure and a unionized, lawyer-heavy work force, the SEC has developed a reputation as an outdated bureaucracy unable to track its own finances and lacking in basic accountability ...

  • Financial Services
Feb 28, 2011

Harry Reid and Obama Plot Government Shutdown

If Congress can pass the two-week measure now proposed by House Speaker John Boehner, the federal government will not shut down when current funding runs out on March 4. The time will allow bicameral negotiations for a longer-term funding resolution to proceed, but not if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, continues to block the kind of deep spending cuts that the American people voted for last November. Responding to the American voters - 65 percent of whom think spending ...

  • Wasteful Spending