Lost in the buzz over President Barack Obama’s Tuesday meeting with Capitol Hill leaders is news of Vice President Joseph Biden meeting with Rep. Darrell Issa.
The California Republican, who is poised to chair the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the new Congress, will sit down with Biden at 3 p.m. to discuss oversight of stimulus funds and overall transparency in federal programs. Biden is the administration’s point man on the rollout of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Issa is expected to take an aggressive stance in his oversight activities on the committee and plans to beef up his subpoena power. He said Tuesday that the GOP sweep in the midterm elections sent a message that it is time to closely examine the way government works.
“Following the election, the Congressman reached out to the vice president to express his eagerness to begin addressing some of the major shortcomings that relate to how we track stimulus dollars,” an Issa aide said.
The aide called it “both unacceptable and easy to remedy” that there is no enforcement mechanism in place to compel recipients of stimulus funds to report what they do with their money.
“The Congressman intends on pursuing immediate fixes to these problems; hopefully the White House will join us and support this effort,” the aide said.
For Issa, though, the question is bigger.
“Big oversight question is this: what are we doing that is consistent with November’s mandate from We the People?” Issa posted on Twitter.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.