Oversight

House Committee on Energy and Commerce: (2/22/07) — Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Product Safety Commission about lead levels found in children’s lunchboxes. The letter was written in response to a Feb. 18 Associated Press article that reported that some lunchboxes on the market contain more than 16 times the federal lead standard.

“If the implications are true, we are appalled …” Dingell wrote. “Why shouldn’t all school lunchboxes be lead free?”

Dingell said the committee is “seriously considering” holding a hearing and moving legislation on the matter.

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: (2/23/07) — Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) sent a letter to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regarding privacy problems on one of its websites. Waxman said a TSA site designed to help travelers remove their name from “no-fly” lists collected Social Security numbers and other personal information over unsecured servers.

“As soon as the site was launched, several Web security experts alleged that this site lacked basic security measures ...” Waxman wrote. “They also claimed that this failure to encrypt the data could have allowed a third party — including a terrorist — to obtain this personal information.”

Waxman requested a briefing with TSA officials in charge of the program and all documents pertaining to the construction of the site.

•House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee: (2/23/07) — Committee member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is raising questions about the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new plan to grant 100 Mexico-based trucking companies free access to U.S. highways.

“Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. has consistently compromised its environmental and labor standards,” DeFazio told DOT. “Now we’re being asked to risk the safety of citizens on highways and in communities where these trucks will travel.”

DeFazio promised Congress “will be keeping a close eye” on the DOT program.

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