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The GOP Is Getting Ready to Investigate Everything

Kevin McCarthy. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Kevin McCarthy. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The Republican-controlled House Oversight committee has a busy calendar this week, with hearings scheduled on the origins of COVID-19, the border, gas prices, inflation, and more. The House Oversight Committee has an abnormally busy schedule of hearings this week, with a total of eight hearings scheduled across Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. 

“We have eight hearings this week!,” the Twitter account for the Republican majority on the committee said Tuesday. “COVID Origins Border Crisis SPR/Energy Crisis Advances in AI OPM Oversight Inflation Waste, Fraud & Abuse in Pandemic Spending Biden Family Investigation. Accountability is coming.”

The Friday hearing, titled “The Biden Family Investigation: The Department of the Treasury,” will feature testimony from Jonathan C. Davidson, the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the Department of the Treasury. 

The first hearing, Wednesday morning, is being conducted under the auspices of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, and is titled “Investigating the Origins of COVID-19.” 

Witnesses for that one will include Trump-era CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield, The Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Dr. Jamie Metzl, former New York Times Science and Health editor Nicholas Wade, and Paul G. Auwaerter, MD, MBA, Clinical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases; Sherrilyn and Ken Fisher Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. The first three are all people who have spoken in favor of the “lab leak” hypothesis of the origins of the pandemic, while Auwaerter is a minority witness for the Democrats on the committee. 

Right after the COVID-19 hearing, the committee will host a hearing on “Force Multipliers: Examining the Need for Additional Resources to Disrupt Transnational Crime at the Border and Beyond.” Testifying will be Diane J. Sabatino, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Anthony Salisbury, Deputy Executive Associate Director, Homeland Security Investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

The third hearing on Wednesday deals with energy policy: “Burning the Midnight Oil: Why Depleting the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is Not a Solution to America’s Energy Problem, Part I.” Appearing before the committee will be Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress, and Dr. Ilia Bouchoueuv, managing partner of Pentathlon Investments. Epstein is the author of a book called “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.” 

On Thursday, the Committee’s first hearing is on “Oversight of Our Nation’s Largest Employer: Reviewing the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.” Testifying will be Kiran Ahuja, who is the director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. 

“Over two million Americans serve in the civilian federal workforce. OPM is the primary agency tasked with overseeing human resources and personnel management policy across the federal government. Holding OPM accountable is critical, and the Oversight Committee has a responsibility to ensure the agency is meeting their mission and stewarding taxpayer dollars,” Comer said in a statement announcing that hearing. 

Two hearings will take place simultaneously at 2 p.m. on Thursday. The first, under the Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services, will be called “Inflation: A Preventable Crisis.” Testifying will be Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, and Dr. John B. Taylor, the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University.

The other will be “Waste, Fraud, and Abuse Go Viral: Inspectors General on Curing the Disease,” and testifying before it will be Richard Delmar, Sheldon Shoemaker, and Larry D. Turner. They are, respectively, the acting inspector general of the Treasury Department, the deputy inspector general of the Small Business Administration, and the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Per Fox News, a hearing on “government spending amid nationwide inflation” will take place Friday, although it is not listed on the committee’s calendar. 

The Oversight Committee was in the news for another reason this week, per The Independent: Democrats on the Committee asked Republicans to sign a statement denouncing white supremacy, but Republicans refused. 

“We, the Members of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, together denounce white nationalism and white supremacy in all its forms, including the ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory,” the statement said. “These hateful and dangerous ideologies have no place in the work of the United States Congress or our Committee.” 

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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.