House Republican leaders announced plans for congressional investigations into a wide range of issues, from corruption in Afghanistan to Washington's regulation of private industries, using the power of their new majority to launch probes that could embarrass the Obama administration.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who will become chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee when the 112th Congress is sworn in on Wednesday, said he will lead six major investigations in the first three months of the year.
That would be an ambitious undertaking by conventional standards, as congressional investigations often take months to bear fruit.
Issa, who will have the power to subpoena government officials to appear before the committee, said he intends to conduct inquiries into the release of classified diplomatic cables by the website WikiLeaks, recalls by the Food and Drug Administration, the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the foreclosure crisis, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's failure to identify the origins of the meltdown, business regulations, and alleged corruption in Afghanistan.
Other incoming Republican committee chairmen are planning investigations into the Justice Department's civil rights division, the radicalisation of Muslims in the United States, homeland security grant money, and air cargo, port and chemical plant security.
(In exclusive partnership with The Washington Post)