Issa pledges earmark reform, investigations of czars

In a conference call with reporters following GOP Leader John Boehner’s, R-Ohio, remarks at the National Republican Campaign Committee victory celebration , Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., laid out his agenda for when he assumes the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, including reforming earmarks and investigating President Obama’s reliance on unconfirmed “czars” to run important functions of government.

Issa noted that while his job of a congressman involved serving his constituents, he was focused on providing oversight and would not be seeking any earmarks for his district. “Earmarks are frequently things we shouldn’t even be spending money on,” he said. “What we need is a complete reform of the earmark process as we know it.”

Asked whether Elizabeth Warren would be investigated for her role in setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill (despite not having been confirmed by the Senate), Issa said that he would be using the committee to investigate all instance of unconfirmed “czars” who run important government functions.

“We’re going to try to fight the arrogance of government,” he said.

Asked whether he would use his new subpoena powers to challenge President Obama, Issa noted that his job was not to make Obama’s job more difficult but to make him work more efficiently. He also called again for providing inspectors general with subpoena powers, a move that he believes will likely result in more cooperation rather than more subpoenas.

Issa took a moment to describe his working relationship with current committee chairman Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., as a “partnership,” one that he hopes will continue during his own chairmanship.

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