What will Republicans do if they win control of the House in the midterms? Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) says that investigating overreach in the executive branch will be a big part of the strategy. Three Fingers of Politics has the audio of an interview with Bachmann where she makes plain the desire to restore Congressional prerogatives and executive-branch accountability:
According to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the House Republicans should exercise their power to subpoena and hold continuous hearings. Speaking to a gathering for the GOP Youth Convention on July 22 in Washington, D.C., she emphasized this point.
“Oh, I think that’s all we should do,” Bachmann said. “I think that all we should do is issue subpoenas and have one hearing after another. And expose all the nonsense that is going on. And it’s very important when we come back that we have constitutional conservative leadership because the American people’s patience is about this big.”
In some sense, this may be Congressional self-defense. I wrote yesterday about the Associated Press exposé of the politicization of FOIA requests at Janet Napolitano’s DHS, including those coming from Congress. That should have prompted an immediate probe of DHS by Congress, whose requests for information are critical to its oversight responsibilities. The deliberate delay and obstruction at DHS described by the AP creates a balance-of-power issue that a less-lapdoggish Congress would act immediately to correct.
On the other hand, these efforts should be balanced by a positive agenda from Republicans that sets up a real choice in 2012 for voters, with both the White House and Senate on the line. If the GOP gets seen as merely a foil for Obama, voters may decide to keep government divided, especially in the absence of an argument for conservative governance rather than solely a check-and-balance 112th Session of Congress. Bachmann hints at that in her emphasis on “conservative leadership” and keeping promises in 2011.
We’ll ask Bachmann more about this when she appears on TEMS this afternoon. Tune in!