Yeah, baby! From Friday morning's LA Times:
Rep. Ike Skelton knows what he will do in one of his first acts as chairman of the Armed Services Committee in the Democratic-led House: resurrect the subcommittee on oversight and investigations.
The panel was disbanded by the Republicans after they won control of Congress in 1994. Now, Skelton (D-Mo.) intends to use it as a forum to probe Pentagon spending and the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraq war.
It has been 12 years since Democrats were in control of both the House and Senate. But they are looking to make up for lost time, and in some cases, make the Bush administration and its business allies sweat.
With control of every committee in Congress starting in January, the new majority will inherit broad powers to subpoena and investigate. And that is expected to translate into wide-ranging and contentious hearings.
The agenda is likely to be dominated by the Iraq war, but could include probes into the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance, environmental policies and new prescription-drug program for seniors. Industries, such as oil companies, could also come under closer scrutiny.
"The American people sent a clear message that they do not want a rubber-stamp Congress that simply signs off the president's agenda," said Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), who is in line to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "Instead, they have voted for a new direction for America and a real check and balance against government overreaching."
Conyers and other Democrats say that sort of scrutiny has been noticeably absent over the last six years. Democrats accuse Republicans of being complicit as Bush has led the nation into an unwinnable war and adopted economic polices that favor the affluent and big business.
Under Republican control, Congress did subpoena baseball players to discuss steroid use and summon oil industry executives to justify record profits at a time of high gasoline prices.
(snip) Go on, click on the link above. There's lots of goodies in there to look forward to.
For more fun, check out Conyer's blog.
(Photo of Rep. Conyer from LA Times article linked above)