Cliff Stearns: GOP's New Investigative Star in Congress

Monday, 13 Feb 2012 05:10 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Rep. Cliff Stearns has kept a low profile for most of his 12 terms in Congress. But the Florida Republican is front and center now, thanks to his initiation of investigations into Solyndra and Planned Parenthood, Politico reports.

Solyndra is the bankrupt solar panel maker that received support from the White House. Planned Parenthood is the women’s health group that Stearns, chairman of the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, is investigating to see whether it used government money to pay for abortions.

“Every time I come off, I think people realize I’m credible and not trying to use this for political gain,” Stearns told Politico. “I’m not out there trying to grab headlines, and I’m not out there trying to demagogue the issues.”

Stearns’ rise to chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee was largely a fluke. Michigan Rep. Fred Upton creamed Stearns in a four-man race to chair the full Energy and Commerce Committee and he was given the subcommittee job as a consolation.

But Stearns is making the most of it. “He has good insights and good staff around him, but I really think he’s in the right place at the right time and has a determined commitment to these issues,” Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist, told Politico.

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