Oversight

• HOUSE EDUCATION AND LABOR COMMITTEE:  (6/19/208) — Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) criticized the Labor Department for failing to accurately report the number of workplace injuries and illnesses. Witnesses testified that employers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are less likely to be investigated if fewer incidents are reported.

“Without accurate injury and illness statistics, employers and workers are unable to identify and address safety and health hazards, and policymakers are unable to assess the state of workplace safety in this country. We simply must not allow a lack of information to permit hazardous working conditions to go unaddressed, putting workers’ limbs and lives at risk,” said Miller.


 

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HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE (6/24/08) — Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) condemned the Justice Department for its actions in the firing of U.S. attorneys and has requested that Attorney General Michael Mukasey implement all reforms suggested in recent reports from the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility.

“When it comes to the hiring of nonpartisan career attorneys, our system of justice should not be corrupted by partisan politics. It appears the politicization at Justice was so pervasive that even interns had to pass a partisan litmus test... In the meantime, the Judiciary Committee continues to press the White House about its role in the matter,” said Conyers.


• SENATE VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE (6/18/208)  — Chairman Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) urged the Veterans Affairs Department to proceed carefully with smoking and post-traumatic stress disorder research conducted with veterans. Recently it was reported that some of the drugs being tested could have side effects particularly harmful to veterans with mental-health issues.

“VA seems to have followed the letter of the law. However, when studies include veterans who are more vulnerable to dangerous side effects, VA should respond to the enhanced risks with enhanced care and caution. Veterans must be immediately informed, especially when they are participating in a study which seeks to determine whether the testing will result in hazardous mental health outcomes,” Akaka said.

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