A Committee Invitation: Be Here in 5 Minutes

By July 10, 2008Miscellaneous

From Rep. Tom Davis’ opening statement at the House Oversight Committee hearing on FEMA’s use of travel trailers after Katrina (our emphasis):

But the federal agency witnesses who might help explain this formaldehyde Tower of Babel aren’t here today.  FEMA is focusing all its attention on Midwest flood relief.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and HUD, also have information relevant to our discussion this morning.  But they were only invited to participate late last Thursday, as federal offices were closing for the holiday weekend.  Understandably, they declined to participate without more time to prepare. 

That tactic sure sounds familiar. Earlier this year, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) hammered the EPA over and over again for failing to provide thousands of documents to a “field briefing” — not a hearing — she was holding in Los Angeles by her deadline of January 7th. Of course, her request wasn’t made until December 20th, right before the Christmas break, making it next to impossible to meet. And when EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson couldn’t attend the event, she put an empty chair on stage in an effort to embarrass him. 

SOP, apparently.


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