On Wednesday, the EPA was accused of tolerating waste, fraud and “criminal conduct” in its own ranks, as a House committee hearing aired allegations of employee misconduct that have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. The IG’s office — the official watchdog tasked with overseeing the agency — also claims it’s being blocked from doing its job by a unit within the EPA.
In May, the House will vote on whether to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt for her role in the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, according to a memo released Friday by House Republicans. The memo from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the contempt vote would proceed unless Lerner agrees to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the targeting scandal.
Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee want U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to hand over details of a Department of Justice interview with retired IRS official Lois Lerner, who oversaw the agency’s scrutiny of tea party groups. Darrell Issa sent a letter to the nation’s top prosecutor is being asked to provide “all documents and communications referring or relating to the scope, timing, and scheduling of the DOJ’s interview of Lois Lerner” as well as “all documents and communications between or among the DOJ, or other federal law enforcement agencies, and Lois Lerner or her counsel referring or relating to immunity for Ms. Lerner.”
Rep Darrell Issa has subpoena-ed the ATF for information about what he calls a “dangerously mismanaged” program, which originally was launched to get crime guns off the street. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Issa chairs, has been looking into complaints about the program for months. Under the operation, ATF agents set up storefronts in multiple cities to try and entice criminals to sell their crime guns, unwittingly, to the government so they could be traced. But their tactics and missteps, including using mentally disabled people, drew criticism.
On Friday the House voted to extend a pay freeze for federal workers already in effect for more than two years, for another nine months. Republicans, who largely backed the measure, said it would save $11 billion in the long run and that economically secure public servants could go a little longer without a raise.
Attorneys for a House Committee in its civil-contempt lawsuit against Attorney General Eric Holder are urging a federal judge not to throw out the case, arguing that to do so would “tilt the balance of powers” between Congress and the White House.
Rep Darrell Issa is now targeting the high cost of some of the state dinners and entertaining at the White House. One dinner alone in 2010, cost tax payers $1 million and the guest list included the leader of Mexico and the singer Beyonce.