Oversight

•House Education and Labor Committee (5/1/07) — Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) asked the White House to disclose all e-mails and communications addressing its federal student loan and Reading First programs. According to Miller, the administration has failed to act on warnings dating back to 2001 about potential unethical practices with the two education programs.

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“This consistent failure to act in the interests of our nation’s students raises significant questions about why such warnings have been ignored,” Miller wrote to the White House.
Miller addressed a similar letter to Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, who is scheduled to testify on her department’s oversight of the student loan and Reading First programs on May 10.

•House Energy and Commerce Committee (4/26/07) — Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) and a coalition of other committee chairmen are following up with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding concerns dating back to last year about the EPA’s library system. Dingell said the EPA had closed several of its libraries without proper consultation.

“Over the years, the government has built an extensive and extremely valuable collection of scientific, technical and regulatory materials in EPA libraries,” Dingell wrote to the EPA. “Given the government resources that have been used to build these libraries … we were distressed to learn last year that EPA had closed several libraries without consulting with Congress or the public.

House Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) signed the letter with Dingell. The chairmen gave the EPA until May 4 to disclose its updates.

•House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (4/27/07) — Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has invited former CIA Director George Tenet to testify before Congress on May 10.

“The purpose of the hearing is to learn your views about one of the claims to justify the war in Iraq — the assertion that Iraq sought to import uranium from Niger — and related issues,” Waxman wrote to Tenet.

Tenet has been making headlines this week for the release of his book critical of the Bush administration’s pre-war intelligence on Iraq.