Oversight

• SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE (7/29/08) — Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, Stephen Johnson, to step down. They’ve charged that Johnson gave false testimony to Congress and politicized his work with the EPA.

“Mr. Johnson has consistently chosen special interests over the American people’s interests in protecting health and safety. He has become a secretive and dangerous ally of polluters, and we cannot stand by and allow more damage to be done,” said Boxer. “We have lost all confidence in Stephen Johnson’s ability to carry out EPA’s mission in accordance with the law.”

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• HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE (7/29/08) — Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) questioned the wisdom of the administration’s intention to spend $200 million on upgrading Pakistan’s 5-16 combat aircraft.

“We are concerned that the administration’s proposal to use military assistance to pay for the 5-16 upgrades will divert funds from more effective counterterrorism tools like helicopters, TOW missiles, and night-vision goggles,” said Berman and Lowey in a released statement. “We have requested a hold on the administration’s planned reprogramming pending additional information.”

• HOUSE EDUCATION AND LABOR COMMITTEE (7/25/08) — Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) criticized the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for issuing an $8.77 million citation on Imperial Sugar as a result of a February explosion at the company refinery in Georgia.

“The agency tasked by Congress to protect the health and safety of American workers has failed to aggressively address this deadly problem,” said Miller. “It is obvious from these events that existing rules and efforts by OSHA to prevent these explosions are not sufficient. The agency should immediately issue an emergency standard to prevent these explosive hazards. Failing that, Congress will act to ensure that the agency does its job.”