Oversight


A weekly rundown of the latest efforts of lawmakers to scrutinize the actions of the executive branch.

• HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: (01/29/08) — Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, wrote a letter to Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, inviting him to testify on an oversight hearing on “Voter Suppression” on Feb. 8.

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“There were a number of election irregularities in Ohio during the 2004 Presidential Election. Cumulatively, these irregularities affected hundreds of thousands of voters. As we look forward to the 2008 Presidential Election, the Committee seeks to explore policies that should be implemented to avoid future voting problems and ensure that every American can exercise their right to vote,” wrote Conyers and Nadler.

• SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE: (01/28/08) — Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) led 13 colleagues in writing a letter to President Bush concerning the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement with Canada. The senators encouraged President Bush to enforce the agreement, as the present arbitration “alone is not enough.”

“It does not address all of the new provincial-level subsidies applied in violation of Canada’s obligations under the Agreement. Nor will arbitration alone effectively ensure Canada’s compliance with its commitments,” wrote Baucus and Chambliss.

• SENATE VETERANS’ AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: (01/29/08) — Chairman Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) made a statement regarding President Bush’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2008, which concerns veterans with traumatic brain injuries.

“I am pleased that the President has given his long-overdue approval to the National Defense Authorization Act. Service members, veterans and their families have waited patiently for the enactment of this legislation,” Akaka stated.