Private sector firms and executives produced nearly a million pages of documents in response to subpoenas and requests from the House Energy and Commerce Committee during the chairmanship of Rep Henry Waxman between 2008 and 2010.
That compared to less than 2,000 pages the committee sought from President Obama and his appointees in the executive branch during the same branch, The Examiner has learned.
"Most of the 2000 pages were on background information on companies, not internal documents to provide transparency and accountability of the executive branch," a knowledgable congressional source said.
Waxman was succeeded as chairman by Rep. Fred Upton after voters returned Republicans to the House majority last November, and the Michigan Republican has pursued an aggressive oversight schedule designed to examine in detail how Obama and his appointees are managing the executive branch.
Upton promised particular attention would be paid to implementation of the Obamacare health care reform by the Department of Health and Human Services, and to the Environmental Protection Agency's attempts to impose by regulation an administrative version of Obama's failed anti-global warming cap-and-trade legislation.
Waxman upbraided Upton last week for being overly aggressive in seeking documents from the administration, saying in a letter to the Republican chairman:
"I am a strong supporter of congressional oversight, and I respect and support the Committee's right to seek information about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. But I do not believe your oversight powers justify going on fishing expeditions or making extensive requests for internal e-mails and other communications where there is no evidence of waste, fraud, or abuse of any kind.”
Upton's aggressive actions apparently reflect a recognition by current House Republican leaders that their caucus put too little emphasis on oversight of the executive branch during the Bush administration when their party controlled both chambers in Congress and the White House.