Oversight

•House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (5/15/07) — Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) reiterated his previous requests to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about information on toxic levels of formaldehyde in the trailers of Hurricane Katrina victims. Waxman said FEMA has failed to provide the information needed to conduct his panel’s investigation, which began in August 2006.

“Meanwhile, concerns about the potential public health consequences continue to grow.” Waxman wrote to FEMA. “Further delays by FEMA will not be tolerated.”

Waxman gave FEMA a May 29 deadline for all information sought by the committee.

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•House Energy and Commerce Committee (5/11/07) — Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) told Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that American consumers are “vulnerable” in financial service marketplaces.

“The process with contacting and dealing with federal regulators is cumbersome,” Dingell wrote to Bernanke. “Average consumers don’t know or care about the difference between a federal thrift bank and a national bank operating subsidiary, nor should they have to to get prompt resolution to their complaints.”

Dingell added that the government’s financial institutions lack clear policies to protect financial consumers and that a “meaningful strategy” must be developed to address it.

•Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee (5/15/07) — Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) is claiming that the Department of Defense (DoD) is not following a law by setting a three percent procurement goal for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOBs).

“I am especially disturbed by reports that the Department of Defense personnel are telling veterans that the agency is not bound by the three percent goal for contracting with SDVOBs,” Kerry wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

•House Science and Technology Committee (5/11/07) — Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas) is urging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to update its hurricane tracking technology. According to Dr. Bill Proenza, director of the National Hurricane Center, NASA’s hurricane tracking satellites are using technology that is outdated by two years.