Oversight

• HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: (6/12/08) — Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) wrote a letter to President Bush asking for information on a Strategic Framework Agreement and a Status of Forces Agreement that are currently being discussed in regard to American troops in Iraq.

“Given the complexity of the issues and the rapid developments related to the discussions of these agreements, we do not believe there has been adequate consultation with our committees. Senior officials of the administration, including two Cabinet secretaries, have pledged to keep Congress apprised of the progress of the negotiations throughout the course of these discussions. Unfortunately, we do not believe that your administration has adequately fulfilled this pledge,” the letter stated.

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• HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE: (6/16/08) — Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) criticized Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner Brian Montgomery, requesting that he clarify his statement that he wants to both run the FHA like a business and not serve customers whose homes cost more than $550,000.

“The blatant contradiction between Commissioner Montgomery’s announcement that he will follow business principles and his rejection of legislation that would give him the ability to apply those principles shakes my confidence in his approach to his job.”

• HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE: (6/18/2008) — The results of an investigation into the Federal Protective Service (FPS) requested by Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) reveal that FPS is having difficulty protecting federal facilities and employees. The investigation was conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“We have become increasingly concerned that the FPS does not have adequate resources to provide top-flight protection for federal employees and buildings, and this GAO report confirms those fears. FPS’s workforce has been drastically reduced in recent years, which is only one of many concerns raised in this alarming GAO report. This report reveals several factors that have adversely impaired the FPS’s ability to protect federal buildings and staff, including large staff turnover, poor building security assessments, inability to investigate crimes committed in federal buildings, and lack of functioning cameras and other equipment that prevent incidents and enhance security,” Oberstar said.

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