Oversight

• HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE: (7/2/08) — Full panel Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Oversight and Investigations subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) announced that they will be holding a hearing on the Food and Drug Administration’s response to the recent outbreak of salmonella.

“The salmonella outbreak has caused considerable financial losses for the grower and food industries and exposed our vulnerability to a bioterrorism attack. We are working to understand why certain produce commodities, such as tomatoes, are difficult to track and trace and whether our existing system for doing so is adequate,” Dingell said.

• HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: (7/3/08) — Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Commercial and Administrative Law subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) wrote a letter reiterating their expectation that Karl Rove would comply with a subpoena compelling him to testify before the subcommittee. This was in response to a letter from Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, stating that Rove would not testify on the record but would allow an off-the-record interview.

“We want to make clear that the subcommittee will convene as scheduled and expects Mr. Rove to appear, and that a refusal to appear in violation of the subpoena could subject Mr. Rove to contempt proceedings, including statutory contempt under federal law and proceedings under the inherent contempt authority of the House of Representatives,” Conyers and Sanchez wrote.

• HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: (7/8/08) — Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) wrote a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey stating that because his office had not turned over files pertaining to the Valerie Plame leak, the committee will meet next week to discuss holding Mukasey in contempt. Among the requested files are transcripts of interviews with Vice President Cheney.

“The arguments you have raised for withholding the interview transcript are not tenable. When the FBI interview with the vice president was conducted, the vice president knew that the information in the interview could be made public in a criminal trial and that there were no restrictions on Special Counsel [Patrick] Fitzgerald’s use of the interview,” wrote Waxman.