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Congressman Issa likely won't start hearings for weeks

Congressman Darrell Issa
Congressman Darrell Issa
Kitty Felde/KPCC

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One of the closely watched committees in the new congress is the House Oversight and Government Reform. The chairman - Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of Temecula - promises six major investigations over the next three months. That schedule could get pushed back.

Congressman Issa wants to examine everything from allegations of corruption in Afghanistan to the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the housing meltdown. But the chairman says he’s facing some obstacles: his hearing room is being remodeled and Democrats so far have only assigned one member, Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, to his committee.

"I’ll be fair to Elijah Cummings and the Democrats and give them an opportunity," he says, "but I won’t put up with stalling of the people’s work. So my expectation though is that before the State of the Union, I’ll have all the names and we’ll be able to hold an organizational meeting. From that point, it’ll be three days notice and we’ll get to work."

The President will give his “State of the Union” address on January 25th.

Interest in Issa’s investigations has even sparked a contest in the “Washington Post.” Readers are invited to guess the first official to receive a subpoena from the Oversight Committee.