Oversight

•House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (Oct. 23): In response to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Committee recommendation that over-the-counter cough and cold medications for children under 6 be removed from the market, Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) called on the member companies of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) to withdraw those products from store shelves.

In a letter to Linda Suydam, president of CHPA, Waxman said he was disappointed that CHPA intends to fight the advisory panel’s recommendations.

“I sincerely hope that CHPA will take prompt action to ensure that the advisory committee’s recommendations are promptly carried out by your member companies. There is no need for CHPA to wait for FDA to complete what will surely be a lengthy rulemaking process to change the monograph for these products. American children cannot afford that kind of delay.”

•House Committee on Homeland Security (Oct. 24): Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) sent a letter to Michael Chertoff, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, asking for information regarding a major government-wide cybersecurity initiative.

“On at least four separate occasions, my staff has tried to schedule briefings from the department on this effort. Each time, the department has refused to do so,” the letter stated. “I certainly hope that the department does not plan to go forward with this program without fully briefing this committee as well as the House Appropriations Committee.”

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Oct. 24): Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) sent a letter to President Bush regarding reports that the White House cut numerous pages from testimony written by Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before Tuesday’s Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the effects of global warming on public health.

“The public has a right to all of the facts about global warming and the threat it poses to their families and communities,” Boxer wrote. “I am deeply concerned that important scientific and health information was removed from the CDC director’s testimony at the last minute. I write to ask you to ensure that the public receives a full accounting of what occurred during that review process, and who was involved.”
The Bush administration has denied the allegations.