Renews Call to Expand Witness Panel to Include Former Bush Administration Officials
WASHINGTON. D.C. – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter today to Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) asking him to extend an invitation to Toyota President Akio Toyoda to participate in the panel’s February 24th hearing, “Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public at Risk?,” or to convene a subsequent hearing when Mr. Toyoda does come to the United States that includes him as well as the former Bush Administration officials Issa has already requested.
“If we are not receiving the cooperation and transparency this Committee and the American people are demanding from Toyota, I would fully support the issuance of a subpoena,” Issa said. “Whether it is for a microprocessor engineer or the top executive, we have a duty to determine what Toyota knew, when they knew it and if they met their full obligation of disclosure to U.S. regulators and the American people.”
Issa added, “As a witness before the Committee, Mr. Toyoda would have a highly credible forum to explain both how this situation developed and how his company is working to address the many concerns…Should Mr. Toyoda not come to the United States until March, as news reports suggest, it would be prudent to consider scheduling a follow-up hearing that includes both Mr. Toyoda as well as Bush Administration officials, former Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, and former Administrators of the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration, Nicole Nason, and David Kelly.”
In a letter from Issa to Mr. Toyoda, he said, “News reports from this morning suggest that you are delaying your visit to the United States until the beginning of March…I would encourage you to consider moving up that timeline to coincide with the Congressional hearings that have been scheduled for the week of February 22nd. Surely, if Congress can be here, so can you and I have no doubt that you are eager to take advantage of the earliest opportunity possible to meet with lawmakers and have an open, candid and transparent dialogue with us, as well as the American people.”
Issa added, “In addition, I’d like to personally extend an invitation for you to meet with a bipartisan group of House and Senate Members. As an electronics manufacturer who worked with auto companies in the past, including Toyota, I would welcome the opportunity to hear directly from you and to help facilitate a bipartisan and bicameral dialogue with other lawmakers.”