Exclusive first-look video: Issa slams WH over tour cancellations

posted at 8:01 am on March 20, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It seems that Darrell Issa has had enough of the Washington Monument strategy and buck-passing from the Obama administration on the sequester.  In a new video and statement given to Hot Air exclusively for a first look, the House Oversight chair blasts Barack Obama and Jay Carney for not taking responsibility for Obama’s own decision — and for not using the opportunity to cut $67 billion in waste identified by Obama’s own Inspector General corps:

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today released “No Leadership, No Responsibility, No Tours,” a new video highlighting the White House’s political gamesmanship, choosing to close the White House to school groups and visitors while responsible spending reforms, like those from non-partisan Inspectors General outlined in Oversight’s March 5 Committee report, have not been implemented.

“It’s telling that the President would rather cancel White House tours during the most popular tourist season than roll up his sleeves and get to work fixing our nation’s spending crisis.” Chairman Darrell Issa said. “Just two weeks ago, my committee released a report chronicling $67 billion in unimplemented reforms recommended by the President’s own non-partisan Inspectors General.”

As outlined in the video, the Administration has offered differing accounts of who decided to cancel tours. On March 13, 2013, President Obama said: “this was not a decision that went up to the White House.” Then later that day, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney contradicted the President admitting, “We had to cancel the tours.”

The sequester in this budget cycle only cuts $45 billion, thanks to the point in the fiscal year in which it falls.  Following the recommendations of Obama’s own Inspectors General would outstrip those cuts and allow for zero impact on governance.  Instead, we’re playing games with Easter egg rolls and tours.

The executive summary explains how much in potential savings the IGs have found over the last four years — and how little has been done about it:

Congress installed inspectors general (IGs) at Executive Branch departments and agencies to identify waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. IGs conduct independent audits and investigations and make recommendations to protect the interests of taxpayers and improve the effectiveness of government. Their valuable work is frustrated if agency management ignores or fails to implement their recommendations.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has jurisdiction over the IG community. This staff report is a compilation of four years’ worth of data provided to the Committee by the IGs. The IGs responded to annual requests from the Committee for the volume and value of their open and unimplemented recommendations beginning in 2009. Based on data provided annually by the IGs, the Committee’s Republican staff found that agency management has not implemented thousands of recommendations that would save taxpayers more than $67 billion.

The backlog for implementing IG recommendations has reached an all-time high, and the volume of recommendations that remain unimplemented continues to increase every year. In 2008, then-Chairman Henry Waxman found that the Bush Administration did not fully implement more than 13,800 IG recommendations made since 2001. Since then-Ranking Member Darrell Issa began surveying the IGs, the total number of open and unimplemented recommendations has increased dramatically, from 10,894 in 2009 to 16,906 in 2012. The potential savings associated with those open and unimplemented recommendations increased even more dramatically, from $26 billion when Chairman Waxman released his findings in 2009 to more than $67 billion in 2012. These figures reflect the most conservative possible accounting of the number and dollar value of the IGs’ open and unimplemented recommendations. It is likely that both totals are significantly higher.

For the final word, let’s play Guess That Politican.  Who said this, and when?

“I am not going to back off the sequestration. That’s the law we passed. We did it because it wouldn’t make things easy for us. It made it so we would have to do something. And if we didn’t, these cuts would kick in.”

Answer? Harry Reid, May 2012.

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The White House could have said the Easter Egg hunt was cancelled by the HHS because those candy eggs have too much sugar and are bad for childrens health.The nanny staters would accept this and defend it on all of the talk shows.

docflash on March 20, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Cancelling WH tours is simple spite and petulance on Obama’s part. Liberals are like that when challenged or so much as questioned about anything. Obama is most severe at it, given he has narcissistic personality disorder on top of everything else. He can’t get at the Republicans directly, so he has to lash out at someone else.

Liam on March 20, 2013 at 8:10 AM

To what Darrell Issa said here, all I can say is………….

IT’S………ABOUT…….FRIGGIN’……….TIME!!!!!

Finally, someone with some brass ones stands up to this Empty Suit!

pilamaye on March 20, 2013 at 8:12 AM

I frankly don’t give a rat’s behind that the tours are closed

nonpartisan on March 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Perhaps it’s the fault of the missus, not wanting the hoi poloi to be trampling through “her” house.

OldEnglish on March 20, 2013 at 8:18 AM

The ad is a start…but will it run…NOPE!

winston on March 20, 2013 at 8:20 AM

I will say though, that is a good looking dog, and he doesn’t shed which is the best part.

Maybe he’s too good looking….and is slated for the appetizer menu.

Bishop on March 20, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Save your breath Darrell. Unfortunately after all your efforts on Fast & Furious nothing came of it and as far as I am concerned that was an impeachable offense for Holder if not the President. You only stand to look just as impotent on this matter as you did on the gun running. Sorry.

DaveDief on March 20, 2013 at 8:21 AM

“I am not going to back off the sequestration. That’s the law we passed. We did it because it wouldn’t make things easy for us. It made it so we would have to do something. And if we didn’t, these cuts would kick in.” – Chicken Little..

Electrongod on March 20, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Looks like they are starting to figure out that the unimportant stuff is now the important stuff.

forest on March 20, 2013 at 8:24 AM

This ad have too much text to read! Sorry, but if this is meant to have any impact, you really have to dumb it down like the Dems do and have the “scary” lady voice read out the text for the low-info voters. And what’s with the jaunty, light-hearted music? What a missed opportunity!

RedRedRice on March 20, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Doesn’t Issa have more important matters to pursue….like
Fast and Furious for instance? Or is he finished with that?

Amjean on March 20, 2013 at 8:27 AM

I held out lots of hope that Issa’s efforts in the past would gain traction, but nothing materialized. I was disappointed in the results.

I don’t expect Issa to manage to inflict much pain on the WH nor to mete out actual justice.

freedomfirst on March 20, 2013 at 8:27 AM

The media won’t report it so it didn’t happen.Obama knows this.

jtgun on March 20, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Too much, Bo. Libs are going to focus on how cute little Bo is and miss the point of the ad. Take the dog out. Focus on disappointed, possibly crying children… Children who can’t tour the White House because of our petty and petulant President Panic.

Fallon on March 20, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Doesn’t Issa have more important matters to pursue….like
Fast and Furious for instance? Or is he finished with that?

Amjean on March 20, 2013 at 8:27 AM

…a lot of face time!…a lot of outrage…is anything ever done?

KOOLAID2 on March 20, 2013 at 8:39 AM

I don’t know anyone else who shoots hoops wearing a white dress shirt, black dress pants and black shoes. What a lazy dork.

fogw on March 20, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Cutting the White House tours is minor compared to some of the other sequester stunts Obama is pulling.

Drudge has been running a story about how the USDA is eliminating positions of meat inspectors due to the sequester, but continues to fully fund the multi-million-dollar U.S.-Mexico “partnership” which does nothing but advertise the availability of U.S. food stamps for illegal aliens crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.

Obama would rather see Americans dead from tainted meat than risk having illegal aliens miss out on getting their “free” Cheetos and Pepsi.

AZCoyote on March 20, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Issa talks tough but doesn’t follow through IMHO

cmsinaz on March 20, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Take the dog out.

Fallon on March 20, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Obama: “Gladly!”

Archivarix on March 20, 2013 at 8:43 AM

To what Darrell Issa said here, all I can say is………….

IT’S………ABOUT…….FRIGGIN’……….TIME!!!!!

Finally, someone with some brass ones stands up to this Empty Suit!

pilamaye on March 20, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Nothing ever comes of any of this. Shouldn’t Obama be held criminally liable for the results of his negligence? He hasn’t done a days work since he got to the WH much less take care of any pending issues. Everyone seems willing to point out his shortcomings but he still got re-elected! Now, how did that happen?

Boats48 on March 20, 2013 at 8:48 AM

I frankly don’t give a rat’s behind that the tours are closed

nonpartisan on March 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Yeah, because of course, the nonpartisan rat’s behind litmus test matters or something.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2013 at 8:56 AM

In a new video and statement given to Hot Air exclusively for a first look,

Wow! A mention on Hannity yesterday and an exclusive this morning. HA is really coming up in the world!

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2013 at 8:57 AM

He hasn’t done a days work since he got to the WH much less take care of any pending issues. Everyone seems willing to point out his shortcomings but he still got re-elected! Now, how did that happen?

Boats48 on March 20, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Hey! Those NCAA brackets don’t fill themselves.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Hey! Those NCAA brackets don’t fill themselves.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Amazing what the MSM calls ‘worthwhile news’ about Obama.

Liam on March 20, 2013 at 9:01 AM

I guess some response is better than none.

But seriously, $16 trillion in debt, a gop only willing to cut THE GROWTH of annual spending by what 2.5%?

Issa is on Boehners’ short leash and will only go as far as “the leadership” wants.

Especially since Boehner has said he trusts Obama “absolutely”.

PappyD61 on March 20, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Since this was Obama’s choice to cancel the WH tours, why doesn’t he go a step further, (by executive order), and order a pay cut to all legislators who can’t/won’t produce a yearly budget? Could it be that this petty community organizer never had to balance a checkbook, never had the responsibility of saying, “no, we can’t afford to continue spending what we don’t have”?

Yesterday, Cavuto ran a clip of several “Democratic Leaders”, (including Nancy Pelosi), claiming we don’t have a spending or debt/deficit problem—this from our liberal progressive leadership. And the media repeats this narrative as if this is gospel.

How do you combat an illiterate portion of our government or a complicit media?

Rovin on March 20, 2013 at 9:03 AM

How do you combat an illiterate portion of our government or a complicit media?

Rovin on March 20, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Repeated messaging where it would do most good. If they could pull it off, the GOP should sponsor a very special Honey Boo Boo where the entire clan of trailer park trash is turned away from the White House tour by the mean guy that lives there.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Needs more pictures of Obama playing golf in Hawaii.

Fenris on March 20, 2013 at 9:23 AM

President Temper Tantrum.

He needs to be in a time out.

rbj on March 20, 2013 at 9:40 AM

This is very nice. I watched it on Hot Air. I did not see it on TV. The MSM generally skips over any news that doesn’t prop up the dear leader.

If the president had listened to his advisors and completed this work according to the suggestions (ending these programs and waste) the MSM would have pumped it thru the liberal Megaphone.

Today Patrick Henry himself could stand on the capitol steps declaiming all day and the media would be busy trying to find out if it is Beyonce or Jayzee that is showing up at the next White House party. If you asked them about it, they might wonder if Patrick Henry has a grammy. And lazy republican rank and file would say, gee Patrick has nothing to say…it wasn’t on my tv.

Time to pay the money to educate the public. Getting on Fox News just isn’t enough. And blaming the individual congressmen for not speaking up…well, Issa is speaking up, the GOP has to support him and get his message to the mainstream. The MSM will only avert their eyes.

Fleuries on March 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM

To what Darrell Issa said here, all I can say is………….

IT’S………ABOUT…….FRIGGIN’……….TIME!!!!!

Finally, someone with some brass ones stands up to this Empty Suit!

pilamaye on March 20, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Brass whats?
Notice any prosecutions or pretty much any mention at all of F & F these days? Issa starts great, but clearly is not a finisher.

bofh on March 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Barry “make a decision”? When hell freezes over. Besides, it’s time to start planning for the next vacation….and golf trip.

GarandFan on March 20, 2013 at 10:07 AM

The Easter Egg roll should be out as well. If we are going to assure that the First Amendment has full force, government funded pagan rituals should be out too.

unclesmrgol on March 20, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Reggie “The Body Man” Love is enjoying the quiet solitude of the White House bathing room now that the tours have been cancelled.

Larry Sinclair is said to be supplying the party favors…

Polish Rifle on March 20, 2013 at 10:49 AM

sequestration is BAD. It must be the cause of this. Our country couldn’t even afford a recent map of Israel!

katablog.com on March 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Exclusive first-look video

hmm. You’re better than this, hotair.

sauldalinsky on March 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM

I frankly don’t give a rat’s behind that the tours are closed

nonpartisan on March 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM

…that’s because you are a rat’s behind!

KOOLAID2 on March 20, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Work harder, America.

Schadenfreude on March 20, 2013 at 2:22 PM

The sequester

Schadenfreude on March 20, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I frankly don’t give a rat’s behind that the tours are closed

nonpartisan on March 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Your nom s/b nobrain.

Schadenfreude on March 20, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I frankly don’t give a rat’s behind that the tours are closed

nonpartisan on March 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Why, of course you don’t. Why should the American people be granted access to THEIR house? They aren’t kewl like jayzee and beyonce.

As an afterthought: “nonpartisan” would imply “middle-of-the-road”.
However, the only things one finds in the middle of the road are a yellow stripe and a lot of dead chickens.
Think about it.

Solaratov on March 20, 2013 at 3:25 PM

It’s a crap video and I’ll tell you exactly why.

First, it starts with Obama’s voice. Really? Must you always make your point by showing first what he says in his own voice. Must you use the video just because it’s available? If you appreciated how active listeners are at avoiding that voice specifically, clicking off whenever it appears, then you’d never again use it. One year of those hissing sibilants is intolerable, five straight years is unbearable, please, please, please, I beg you, please stop featuring it.

Second, it promises to expose how a bipartisan commission recommendations are not followed. So naturally we expect to see some specific items worth noting. All that is given is that their reports are apparently ignored. Without specific items there is nothing for viewer so hang on.

Third, the plinky plunky style just flat doesn’t cut it. Hope you had fun making it, the video is ineffective. It shows very nicely why you are losers.

bour3 on March 21, 2013 at 5:04 AM