DC Deep Dive: Congressional Oversight of Federal Agencies
This month, Jonathan Miller sat down with Congressman James Comer (R-KY) who will chair the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.
As the new chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, Congressman Comer wants the committee focused on scrutiny of all government agencies that have been immune to congressional oversight. The committee will bring in agency representatives, ask them questions, and get them focused on their intended purpose.
Congressman Comer will address out of control administrative bureaucracy by questioning government agency employees that have their own agendas and are not operating based on executive branch leadership and congressional intent.
Congressman Comer has been a champion for hemp from the start. He has earned political support for hemp from Senator Mitch McConnell and helped fully legalize the crop. Though Congress has made many calls to action, the FDA is still refusing to regulate hemp products like CBD. To address this head on, Congressman Comer will bring the FDA commissioner before the Oversight and Accountability Committee to answer for this inaction and inaction of the agency in many other areas of jurisdiction. FDA has a large budget but there is still a huge backlog of work. Congressman Comer’s goal is to help figure out what is causing the problem and work on a solution.
Other issues that the committee will address include the misuse of Covid relief funds like unemployment insurance and PPP loans and southern border security. Congressman Comer wants government held accountable for massive amounts of waste in these and other areas.
As a Member of Congress with a strong history of getting things done, Congressman Comer admits that navigating the partisan world of politics is often difficult, but there are topics with bipartisan support such as the good government bills for transparency and accountability as well as cybersecurity issues and the important role that plays in our government and the lives of American citizens.
When asked if his committee will address the recent cryptocurrency scandals and arrests, Congressman Comer explained that because cryptocurrency is a commodity, it technically falls under the jurisdiction of the agriculture committee which may not be most effective. Congressman Comer noted that the Financial Services Committee might be best to consider potential reforms and the Oversight Committee might lead an investigation into how this all happened. This is a challenging topic because it is extremely technical. The new House Speaker will ultimately determine the correct committee for authority on this topic.
Congressman Comer hopes that in the two years he has the gavel, his committee will identify a lot of waster fraud and abuse of tax dollars and resolve moving forward to save our taxpayer dollars. He is committed to advocating for the taxpayer and also to restoring the credibility of Oversight Committee investigations for the public by always providing evidence during congressional hearings.