Chaffetz Garners Positive Reviews as Oversight Chairman

RealClearPolitics takes an in-depth look at the first six months of Jason Chaffetz’s tenure as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which has been characterized by increased bipartisanship and improved relations with Democrats.

Reports James Arkin:

As noted, Chaffetz eyed the chairmanship of the oversight committee immediately upon entering Congress, mostly for its broad jurisdiction and expansive power. Asked about the number of issues available to him, he described himself as a “kid in a candy store.”

Thus far in his tenure, the panel’s investigations have focused on a broad range of topics. He’s held hearings concerning the massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management where hackers stole more than 20 million Social Security numbers, and aggressively called for the OPM director to resign. (Katherine Archuleta did so on Friday.) He’s also held hearings on diplomatic security at U.S. embassies and consulates, an issue brought to light by the 2012 attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya. His committee held a hearing Thursday on cost overruns and construction delays at the embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.


While those are just some of the areas the committee has delved into so far, Chaffetz has a list of other topics he’d like to dig into, including investigating the IRS, which he called “absolutely, by far the number one issue,” and continued oversight of the OPM breach, which he labeled “far broader and more impactful than anyone realizes.” He noted that the committee just released its first criminal referral to the Justice Department earlier that day – a referral of the former chair of the Chemical Safety Board – and subpoenaed documents relating to the Keystone pipeline from the State Department.

Chaffetz was visibly excited listing the different directions in which he could steer the committee’s work.

“We can investigate anything at any time. It just puts a smile on my face,” he said with, indeed, a large grin on his face. “Maybe I’m odd and weird, but I love that. I wake up thinking, ‘All right, there’s nothing we can’t get after.’”