As you know, the last six weeks have been particularly challenging for the Obama Administration with revelations that the White House lied to the American people about the Benghazi attacks, the IRS targeted conservative Americans for their political beliefs, and the Justice Department secretly obtained phone records of Associated Press journalists. It is clear that top Obama Administration officials increasingly see themselves as above the law and believe they don’t have to answer to anyone.
I’m proud that this year I was chosen by my colleagues to serve as a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is responsible for watching over virtually every aspect of government. With President Obama’s re-election, this Committee’s role of holding the Administration and government bureaucrats accountable is more important now than ever.
On May 8th, I participated in a Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the Benghazi terrorist attacks. An attack on an American embassy is no different in my mind than an attack on U.S. soil. I believe we should have responded accordingly and I do not agree with the Obama Administration’s response to the consulate attack in Benghazi. I have heard from many of you that you do not agree either. After listening to several hours of testimony, it’s clear from this hearing that these witnesses have provided critical information about the Benghazi terrorist attack that differs from what the Administration has stated. I will continue to support comprehensive investigations into the security failures that led to the attack and actions that could have been taken to save American lives. This information is critical so that we can provide the tools necessary to ensure that U.S. facilities and Americans located overseas are secure.
At another Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on May 22nd, I had the opportunity to question Obama Administration officials regarding the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. Our country was founded on the basic principle that citizens would not be persecuted by the federal government for their beliefs or political affiliations. With this latest abuse of power, the Administration has clearly violated the public’s trust, impacting people in Central Washington and many Americans across the country. I was disappointed that the top IRS official in charge of the agency’s tax-exempt division refused to answer questions about her role in improperly singling out conservative groups. However, I’m committed to finding out exactly what happened at the IRS and holding those responsible accountable for their actions.her role in improperly singling out conservative groups. This hearing was not the last and I’m confident that through further investigations and hearings we will find out exactly what happened at the IRS and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
Lastly, I, like most of you, am very concerned with recent reports that the Department of Justice subpoenaed two months of telephone call records of Associated Press reporters and editors. I firmly believe the right to free speech and the press is a fundamental part of our society and should not be restricted. The House Judiciary Committee is currently looking into this and I will support efforts to hold those responsible for any wrongdoing accountable.
With these revelations and the looming train wreck of Obamacare implementation, President Obama has failed to make the case that a large and overreaching government is best for America. The President must be held accountable for his actions and that of his Administration. The American people deserve direct and honest answers to these incidents, and they deserve a President who is willing to accept policies that limit the size and scope of government so that similar events do not happen again.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is the last line of defense in Washington, DC from liberal, government-knows-best policies being enacted into law. I will continue vigorous oversight of the Obama Administration to get answers Americans deserve and will continue to work to create a more efficient, effective government that spends less and serves you better.