In a series of television appearances on Sunday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the incoming head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that the Obama administration has “played fast and loose with the money Congress gave them,” and pledged to use his subpoena power to investigate a number of alleged financial scandals.
Although Issa commented last fall to radio host Rush Limbaugh that the Obama White House was “one of the most corrupt in modern history”, he stopped short of accusing the administration of misconduct.
When asked on Sunday about reports that the administration was staffing up on lawyers in advance of oversight hearings he said, “They’re going to need more accountants. It’s more about the inspector generals than it is about lawyers in the White House. And the sooner the administration figures out that the enemy is the bureaucracy and the wasteful spending, the better off we’ll be.”
Issa’s committee will focus on issues of waste, fraud and abuse. He was critical of the cost of the national health care initiative and called the Troubled Asset Relief Program “$800 billion worth of walking-around money.”
One of the areas that Issa intends to investigate is Medicare fraud. “We can save $125 billion in simply not giving out money to Medicare recipients that don’t exist for procedures that didn’t happen,” Issa told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “These are real dollars. Ten percent of the deficit goes out in wasted money – money that doesn’t get one person health care in Medicare.”
Issa also took aim at Attorney General Eric Holder, saying the country’s chief prosecutor didn’t properly handle the investigation into the WikiLeaks scandal that resulted in the release of thousands of classified diplomatic cables. Issa said that Holder should prosecute WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange as a criminal.
On Fox News Issa said, “He isn’t doing enough. He’s hurting the administration. If you’re hurting the administration, either stop hurting the administration or leave. I think [Holder] needs to realize that, for example, WikiLeaks, if the President says ‘I can’t deal with this guy as a terrorist,’ then he needs to be able to deal with him as a criminal. Otherwise the world is laughing at this paper tiger we’ve become.”