Also on the chopping block in Barton’s would-be first month is Lisa Jackson, the head of EPA, who will be asked to explain the global warming regulations her agency is racing to finalize under the Clean Air Act.
“The first step will be to hold hearings on the EPA’s endangerment finding,” which began the legal process for promulgating the regulations, “and the cost of these regulations,” Barton’s questionnaire says.
Barton plans to continue in his vigorous oversight through February into March, which holds the first anniversary of Obamacare.
“No committee will spend more time observing the first anniversary of Obamacare,” Barton vows, “not only will we invite back both Kathleen Sebelius and Dr. Berwick to testify about the law, but we are going to do so at a town hall.”
The Steering Committee asks in its questionnaire how would-be chairmen are prepared to avoid the pitfalls of their oversight work appearing as “purely partisan exercises.”
Barton says that the committee under his tenure has already implemented “high oversight standards.”
“We have fact-based, data-drive oversight, in which we gather information, review documents (sometimes in the tens of thousands), before we go public,” Barton says.
One question from the Steering Committee is revealing of the typical congressional work week, which many average American workers might find alien in its brevity.
“We are asking all chairmen to better utilize first and last days each week,” the questionnaire says, referring, at least on most weeks, to Monday and Friday, respectively.
“Are you available to return to Washington earlier on the first day of session and can you commit to holding preliminary meetings with your staff, subcommittee chairmen, and/or members? (This would enable you to begin your scheduled business by 9 am or 10 am depending on Conference on the second day in session),” the questionnaire asks.
In other words, will you show up to work on Monday so that committee business can begin by 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. on Tuesday?
“Yes,” says Barton, “I am committed to lead a schedule that will most benefit the work of the entire Conference. I am ready to work Monday through Friday, three weeks per month. The fourth week of the month will usually be reserved as a district work period, or regional field hearings could be scheduled during that week.”
Upton did not provide a copy of his questionnaire answers to The Daily Caller.
In an undated memo to “interested parties,” Upton vows aggressive action on a number of the same areas as Barton, though with far fewer details.
The memo includes, as the first in a list of pledges that Upton will push for, passage of legislation that would “ensure that no taxpayer dollars ever go to pay for abortion.” Upton has encountered fire from the right for his relatively moderate record on abortion.
Upton also promises to “reveal, repeal and replace Obamacare.”