Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), the Republican set to take over the House Oversight Committee next year, is planning a "witch hunt" against the Obama administration, a liberal Democrat charged this week.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) warned that Issa's oversight strategy would result in more than 500 hearings in the next Congress — more than double the number staged by former Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) during the George W. Bush presidency.


"The man is on a hunt right now, really a witch hunt," Schakowsky told MSNBC's Ed Schultz Tuesday night. "Every time he makes these accusations, somebody has to come along, put their hand over his mouth and he has to walk it back."

Issa in recent weeks has vowed to use his subpoena power atop the oversight panel to investigate a long list of White House activities, including the decision to take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and reports that the administration offered a job to Rep. Joe Sestak to keep him from running against Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate primary.

"I want seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks," Issa told Politico this week.

Republican Rep. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), a member of the oversight panel, recently said that it's important to investigate the administration, but warned his party of conducting "witch hunts."

"I think all of us should proceed with caution," he told NPR last week.

Schakowsky said most of the topics on Issa's radar are designed to score political points, but substantially amount to "just a bunch of nonsense."

The Illinois Democrat said Issa is threatening a return to the oversight environment of the 1990s, when Republicans "had over 1,000 hearings looking into every tiny little aspect of the Clinton administration."

"I fear that we are going to have the same kind of witch hunt occupying all of the time," she said.