House Republicans Consult Special Interests on Their Agenda

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Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, incoming Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, didn’t wait long to consult his constituency before setting his agenda for the coming year. In letters sent to more than 150 special interest groups, including the oil industry and drug manufacturers, Rep. Issa is seeking guidance about which Obama administration policies he should target for “oversight.”

News of Issa’s escapades broke even before the 112th Congress has been sworn in. This news represents a striking departure from the 111th Congress that made consumer protections and middle-class families a top priority. According to POLITICO:

n letters sent to more than 150 trade associations, companies and think tanks last month - requested a list of existing and proposed regulations that would harm job growth.

"It was a broad net that we cast," Issa spokesman Kurt Bardella said.

Bardella did not have a complete list of groups that received an inquiry from Issa or their responses.

But a partial list obtained by POLITICO includes ones sent Dec. 13 to Duke Energy, the Association of American Railroads, FMC Corp., Toyota and Bayer. Others receiving inquiries from Issa over the course of the month included the American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) and entities representing health care and telecommunication providers.

The GOP leadership has made its priorities clear: representing special interests and their needs.Hopefully, they haven’t completely forgotten the constituents who elected them.