Feb. 8, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

GOP Won’t Stop Job Offer Crusade

Earlier this month, Issa wrote White House Counsel Robert Bauer requesting “a full and complete list of all elections in which the White House engaged in efforts to persuade specific candidates to drop election bids” and also asked the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to investigate whether Emanuel’s or Messina’s actions violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal officials from interfering with elections.

Issa acknowledged that his efforts may amount to little more than raising public awareness.

Smith said Wednesday that he has talked with GOP leaders about the possibility of trying to force a floor vote on the Sestak and Romanoff matter in the coming weeks. Michael Steel, a spokesman for Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), did not respond directly to a question about whether leaders would seek a floor vote, but he said his boss supported Smith’s and Issa’s efforts to probe the matter and would “continue to work with all of the relevant committees” on the issue.

By continuing to make noise, Smith said he believes there’s an opportunity to rally the public — if not Democratic lawmakers — to his side.

“Obviously, how this plays out in the court of public opinion is important, and if there’s more of a public demand for the facts and transparency in administration actions, then maybe we’ll have more success,” Smith said.

But Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz — who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s incumbent retention program — said she doesn’t believe the issue will gain traction; the Florida Democrat believes it will end up a nonstarter for Republicans.

“People recognize that it’s just one more in a series of obstructionist things that they are doing to try to distract voters from the issues that matter most to them,” Wasserman Schultz said. “These are the people who invented the ‘K Street project’ and the revolving door of cash and special interest money.”

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) indicated that GOP messaging likely would cite alleged job offers as just one more reason why “one-party complete control is a problem,” to try to bolster the minority’s efforts to win back the House this fall.

And Sessions cast the alleged job offers as part of a “continuing pattern” of “Chicago-style politics” by the Obama administration; he defended Republicans’ efforts to hammer on demands for more information.

“Republicans are trying to ask a valid question and that is the facts of the case,” he said.

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