Tags: chairmen | committees | Republicans | colleagues

GOP Weighs Giving More Power to House Committee Leaders

By    |   Monday, 12 Jan 2015 11:06 PM

Republicans are considering allowing the chairmen of five House committees the freedom to avoid having to go to their Democratic colleagues when requesting certain information.

Politico reports that Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, would not be required to check in with the ranking Democrat on the panel when subpoenaing documents or witnesses pertaining to Obamacare, for example.

A similar practice has been in place on the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, who used the power during his investigations into the IRS and the "Fast and Furious" scandals.

The GOP is considering using a similar practice for Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, and the chairmen of the Agriculture and Science and Space and Technology committees, according to Politico.

Those committees in the near future will deal with hot-button issues such as Dodd-Frank (Financial Services) and immigration (Judiciary).

Democrats are not happy with what they feel is a way for Republicans to secure more power in the chamber.

"We think it's ridiculous that the Republican leadership is exporting the Issa model to the rest of the House," a Democrat staffer told Politico.

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, also denounced the move.

"The Republican playbook is clear: obstruct, distract, subpoena, repeat," Hammill told Politico. "This change will inevitably [lead] to widespread abuses of power as Republicans infect the other committees with the poisonous process that Issa has so abused during his chairmanship."

Nine House committees have new GOP chairmen now that the 114th Congress is in session.

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Republicans are considering allowing the chairmen of five House committees the freedom to avoid having to go to their Democratic colleagues when requesting certain information.
chairmen, committees, Republicans, colleagues
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2015-06-12
Monday, 12 Jan 2015 11:06 PM
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