Archive for the ‘Congressional Hearing’ Category

Texas border: Congressional panel to probe illegal alien tsunami

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

This is article 438 of 444 in the topic Immigration

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee is expected to conduct a formal hearing on Wednesday as part of its probe into the human tsunami of illegal alien children, teenagers and young adults who are illegally entering the state of Texas illegally, according to the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.

According to the hearing agenda, the Judiciary Committee members will examine the sudden and unexpected surge of children arriving at Border Patrol stations and entry points along the Texas-Mexico border. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) claims that the number of illegal alien minors crossing the border without parents will grow from about 6,000 in 2013 to an estimated 142,000 in 2015.

DHS has reported that as of last week they have witnessed upwards of 50,000 minors attempting to cross into the United States and over 40,000 family members this year, Goodlatte’s statement indicates.

“This surge shows no signs of stopping and could potentially get worse if President Obama further dismantles more of our immigration laws in August,” said Congressman Goodlatte in his press statement.

And many local law enforcement officials believe that there may be complicity by President Obama and his minions. “Once again we have a suspicious situation that is a perfect storm of smoke and mirrors and further evidence that the Obama White House is unwilling or incapable of functioning ‘above board,’” said a former NYPD police official, Iris Aquino.

Several members of the Judiciary Committee, including Goodlatte, have blamed the Obama Administration’s policies, such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the current practice of “virtual rubberstamping of credible fear claims at the border,” are a direct cause of the sudden flood of alleged minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Republican, and a few Democratic, lawmakers have said that news stories about the Obama Administration’s policies has spread to Central American media outlets and convinced families that their children may come to the U.S. without fear of being turned away or deported back to their countries of origin such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and others.

For example, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez reportedly claimed that people from his country are illegally entering the U.S. because they hope to gain some sort of legal status.

“President Obama’s refusal to enforce our immigration laws has resulted in a crisis of his own making along our southern border. Word has spread around the world about the Obama Administration’s lax immigration enforcement policies and it has encouraged thousands of children, teenagers, and families from Central America to come to the United States illegally,” Rep. Goodlatte said in apress statement.

“[We] are witnessing the disastrous effects of the President’s policies firsthand and will also demand answers from officials at the Department of Homeland Security on how they plan to quell this activity,” added the Judiciary Committee chairman.

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Hillary’s decision to testify before Benghazi committee will depend on ‘how they conduct themselves’

by Doug Powers on Thursday, June 12th, 2014

This is article 244 of 244 in the topic Congressional Investigations

Be a nice, polite select Benghazi committee with no interest in flipping over any more rocks that could makes waves for “Hillary 2016″ and maybe she’ll comply with a subpoena to testify. Maybe:

In the interview, Sawyer also asked about the new congressional committee that will examine the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton did not say definitively whether or not she will testify before the new committee if called to do so.

“That’s going to be up to the people running the hearing,” she said. “We’ll see what they decide to do, how they conduct themselves, whether or not this is, you know, one more travesty about the loss of four Americans, or whether this is, in the best tradition of the Congress, an effort to figure out how – what we can do better.”

In other words, if anybody on the committee wants to ask Hillary a question they’ll have to put on a disguise and show up at one of her book signings.

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Benghazi probe: General tells lawmakers no one asked military to save Americans

by Jim Kouri on Sunday, May 4th, 2014

This is article 238 of 244 in the topic Congressional Investigations

A former upper-echelon military intelligence officer who was the deputy director of the U.S. African Command testified before lawmakers on Thursday that the U.S. Department of State, headed by Hillary Clinton, never once asked the U.S. military to save the lives of Americans being slaughtered at the Benghazi, Libya, United States diplomatic mission, according to a videotape from the U.S. Congress.

In response to the alleged ‘smoking gun’ email written by a White House staff member for then-U.S. Secretary to the United Nations Susan Rice — which was released by the public-interest group Judicial Watch on Tuesday to Fox News and the Examiner by JW’s Jill Farrell — the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday held a special session to investigate the latest allegations of an Obama Administration cover-up.

A major witness called to testify before Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and other panel members was retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell, the former Deputy Director of Intelligence for the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM), claims that no one at the U.S. State Department requested a military response to attempt to save Americans under attack in Benghazi.

During his testimony, when asked about the feelings of military personnel in the AFRICOM operations room at the time of the terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate, Brig. Gen. Lovell said, “It was desperation there… it was desperation to gain situational awareness and to be able to do something to save people’s lives.”

Upon being asked if U.S. assets in Europe went “into the sound of the guns? Did they actually go into Benghazi?” Lovell replied, “No.”

He went on to say, “Basically, there was a lot of looking to the State Department for what they wanted and the deference to the Libyan people and the sense of deference to the desires of the State Department in terms of what they would like to have.”

Chairman Issa then stated, “We didn’t run to the sound of the guns? They were issuing press releases. We had Americans dying. We had dead people. We had wounded people. And our military didn’t try to engage in that fight. Would you disagree with that?”

To which Brig. Gen. Lovell simply replied, “Not to my knowledge, sir.”

Brig. Gen. Lovell also testified that the Benghazi attack and slaughter “was not — not an escalation [of a protest]. It was an attack.”

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ISSA Subpoenas John Kerry Regarding Benghazi!

by John Lillpop on Sunday, May 4th, 2014

This is article 237 of 244 in the topic Congressional Investigations

Barack Obama may have stolen the 2012 presidential election by keeping the lid on several “phony scandals” with the aid and encouragement of the mainstream media.

However, much to Obama’s consternation, the issue is most assuredly NOT DEAD, despite all the lying, obstruction, and stonewalling that the White House has thrown at the issue, aided and abetted by a biased, corrupt mainstream media.

Indeed as reported, the Benghazi scandal has exploded and is front and center:

A key House committee has subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about newly released Benghazi documents, after the Republican chairman accused the administration of hiding the records following an earlier congressional subpoena.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced Friday that it has issued the subpoena for Kerry to testify at a May 21 hearing.

“The State Department’s response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack has shown a disturbing disregard for the Department’s legal obligations to Congress,” Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote in a letter to Kerry.

He added: “Compliance with a subpoena for documents is not a game. Because your Department is failing to meet its legal obligations, I am issuing a new subpoena to compel you to appear before the Committee to answer questions about your agency’s response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack.”

Issa, at a hearing on Thursday, lashed out at the administration over the latest documents. The emails in question were obtained and published by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, following a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Issa said the State Department also told his committee about those emails in an April 17 letter.

One email showed White House adviser Ben Rhodes discussing a “prep call” with then-U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, before she went on several Sunday shows and made controversial and flawed statements linking the attack to an anti-Islam Internet video. The email from Rhodes emphasized the role of the Internet video, though the White House claims that was in reference to protests elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa.

Regardless of the context, Issa claims those documents were withheld for Congress for well over a year. “It is disturbing and perhaps criminal … that documents like these were hidden by the Obama administration from Congress and the public alike,” Issa said at Thursday’s hearing. He claimed the withholding of these documents is the worst transparency violation since at least the Nixon administration.

Before the subpoena was announced, House Speaker John Boehner also called on Kerry to testify before Congress in light of these revelations.”

Lest we forget, the deadly events of September 12, 2013 occurred during the lame watch of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

She of the “What difference does it make?” rejoinder may soon find out!

John W. Lillpop
San Jose, California

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Elijah Cummings, Eric Holder accused of involvement in IRS conspiracy

by Jim Kouri on Sunday, April 13th, 2014

This is article 236 of 244 in the topic Congressional Investigations

Following this week’s hearings regarding the alleged targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service, GOP lawmakers are accusing a fellow member of Congress and the nation’s top law enforcement officer of conspiring to help cover up the illegal and politically-motivated activities of the IRS’ Office of Exempt Organizations, according to a number of news reports on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., criticized Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., for having his office communicate with the controversial IRS director Lois Lerner in 2012 in order to pressure her and her minions to target a conservative watchdog group that investigates cases of illegal voting.

Issa, who chairs the committee, told reporters that documents he received from the IRS revealed that Cummings and the IRS allegedly conspired to harass the nonpartisan True the Vote, a group that advocates fair and honest elections and reports on alleged illegal election practices by both Democrats and Republicans.

“The IRS and the Oversight Minority made numerous requests for virtually identical information from True the Vote, raising concerns that the IRS improperly shared protected taxpayer information with Rep. Cummings’ staff,” Issa stated on the Oversight Committee’s website.

Issa accuses Cummings and his House staffers of seeking materials used by the group, a list of the group’s affiliates and information on contributors and supporters of True the Vote.

According to Issa, after Cummings and his staff pressured the IRS to go after True the Vote, the conservative group received an email message to submit information to IRS agents such as registration forms used to enlist volunteers, the group’s protocols for handing out assignments to those volunteers, training documents, and other information that is never asked from left-wing groups.

“Now we see why [Rep. Elijah] Cummings was so shrill and angry during Lois Lerner’s appearance in front of his committee. Cummings should be the one being investigated based on his politicizing the IRS in a conspiracy to silence a vocal organization,” said political strategist Mike Baker.

Meanwhile, U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, surprised many of his colleagues and President Barack Obama’s allies in the news media by bluntly lambasting Attorney General Eric Holder during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

Congressman Farenthold said that during his appropriated time he would not question Holder during the hearing because he felt that, since the Holder was held in contempt of Congress, it is inappropriate for the alleged perjurer to appear before a Congressional committee as if there were no problem with his past behavior.

According to his statement, Rep. Farenthold told his fellow committee members: “I don’t think Mr. Holder should be here. He’s in contempt of this body. I’ve called for his resignation, I’ve sponsored articles of impeachment and, this week, I’m going to be introducing legislation that would prevent federal employees who are held in contempt of Congress or who fail to fully comply with a Congressional subpoena from being paid their taxpayer-funded salary.”

The Texas Republican added: “If an American citizen had not complied with one of the Justice Department subpoenas, they would be in jail – not sitting here testifying.”

“When you look at the documents and listen to the testimony of Holder, Cummings and Lerner, one cannot help but suspect there is a large-scale, criminal conspiracy afoot, and it needs to be thoroughly investigated perhaps by a special prosecutor,” said former police detective and private security director Michael Snipes.

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IRS’ Lois Lerner to face contempt of congress charge soon, say lawmakers

by Jim Kouri on Sunday, April 6th, 2014

This is article 235 of 244 in the topic Congressional Investigations

In the continuing probe into what many consider the most serious of President Barack Obama’s “phony scandals,” — the targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) — the House Oversight Committee chairman stated on Thursday that his committee members will meet for a special business meeting on April 10 to consider bringing a contempt of Congress resolution against a former IRS director who has pleaded the Fifth Amendment on two separate occasions.

Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said that his committee will consider contempt of Congress charges against Lois Lerner, the IRS’ former director of Exempt Organizations. During two separate hearings regarding allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups, especially those with the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, as reported by the Examiner.

There were also allegations that the IRS illegally “shared” information about conservative groups with liberal-left organizations. Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code stipulates that it’s a felony for an Internal Revenue Service official to disclose either “return information” or “taxpayer return information” to any individuals or organizations including government agencies, according to an Examiner news story.

When questioned about the accusations of improper — even criminal — misconduct by IRS agents on two separate occasions — on May 22, 2013 and then on March 5, 2014 — Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate herself. The hearings were titled, “Targeting Americans for their Political Beliefs.”

“Documents and testimony point to Lois Lerner as a senior IRS official responsible for conduct that deprived Americans of their rights to free speech and equal protection under our laws,” said Issa in his statement on Thursday.

“Americans expect accountability and want Congress to do all it can to gather relevant evidence about what occurred and who was responsible so that this never happens again. Ms. Lerner’s involvement in wrongdoing and refusal to meet her legal obligations has left the Committee with no alternative but to consider a contempt finding,” he added.

The last time an Obama administration member was held in contempt by the House, was in 2012 when Attorney General Eric Holder was cited for lying before congress.

According to allegations against Lerner, she managed the IRS division that targeted Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status for an unusual amount of scrutiny that wasn’t given to leftist groups. There were accusations by leaders of conservative organizations that the IRS staff required an extraordinary amount of information about the groups and their leaders that appeared to be overlooked in the IRS’ dealings with left-leaning or far-left organizations that were afforded tax exempt status.

“Ms. Lerner presided over the IRS division where targeting and improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups took place. She, herself, directed unprecedented scrutiny of Tea Party applicants and worked on new restrictive rules for non-profits after President Obama and other prominent Democrats expressed outrage at the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision,” noted the Oversight Committee.

The GOP lawmakers on the committee have pointed out that Lerner is the only IRS witness called by the committee who refuses to testify in the IRS targeting probe, in spite of her attorney informing Congress that she intends to testify. However, that offer was quashed by Lerner.

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House committee concerned over Obamacare cyber security deficiencies

by Jim Kouri on Sunday, November 10th, 2013

This is article 588 of 683 in the topic Healthcare

The House of Representatives’ GOP-led Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in order to thoroughly examine the cyber security deficiencies of President Barack Obama’s healthcare web site, the committee’s chairman, Michael McCaul, R-Texas, announced on Friday.

The Homeland Security Committee is expected to also investigate what security measures are in place to verify the immigration status of individuals seeking healthcare coverage, especially those who are requesting government health care subsidies.

According to McCaul, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the agency responsible for the .gov domain, yet no one from DHS participated in the planning, design or operation of the security aspects of Healthcare.gov.

Instead, the site’s security is being overseen by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) without significant input from DHS, law enforcement or the intelligence community, according to committee lawmakers.

What many find disturbing is the discovery that CMS has no privacy or security agreements in place with DHS to protect the personal data of millions of Americans held in the federal healthcare exchanges, despite promises to the Homeland Security Committee that they would be in place by October 1.

This hearing will allow both DHS and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to explain their roles, if any, in securing and maintaining the integrity of Healthcare.gov.

“Healthcare.gov’s flaws aren’t merely about trying to access the site, there are larger issues yet to be resolved. Americans are entering their most sensitive personal data into the Healthcare.gov web site and now the same people who told us the system would work are telling us it is secure,” said Rep. McCaul.

“As Americans start to submit their personal information, we must examine how safe that information is once it’s placed on Healthcare.gov, the federal healthcare exchanges and the Datahub,” McCaul added.

While DHS is charged with securing these, and all .gov entities, the lack of that department’s involvement further highlights the poor planning, design and implementation of the Obamacare web site and the entire Affordable Care Act, say critics

“This hearing will look at what DHS has done to secure Healthcare.gov, as well as DHS’s other role in Obamacare – verifying the immigration status of applicants. Before Americans are forced to enter their personal information into a flawed web site, they should be reassured that it won’t be compromised,” noted the congressman from the Lone Star State.

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Sebelius totally re-establishes America’s confidence: It’s possible for convicted felons to become Obamacare navigators

by Doug Powers on Thursday, November 7th, 2013

This is article 579 of 683 in the topic Healthcare

In a Senate hearing about Obamacare, Kathleen Sebelius testified before the Finance Committee about what she didn’t know, when she didn’t know it, and what she’s doing to fix it.

All the talk about “system security” doesn’t mean a thing as long as the identity thieves can simply get jobs as Obamacare navigators:

“So a convicted felon could be a navigator and acquire sensitive personal information?” Cornyn asked.

“That is possible,” Sebelius acknowledged. “We have contracts with organizations and they have taken the responsibility to screen the individual navigators and make sure they are sufficiently trained for the job.”

Sebelius said that screening potential navigators for criminal backgrounds is “not part of the federal requirement.” If crooks are smart they’ll first start by creating an account through the website — sometimes the system will just give you somebody else’s confidential information.

Those who Sebelius says have been contracted to take responsibility to ensure navigators are on the up-and-up wouldn’t include organizations like this one, would they?

This can’t end well.

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“Don’t Do This To Me!” Reflects National View Toward ObamaCare

by John Lillpop on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

This is article 568 of 683 in the topic Healthcare

In testimony before the US House on October 30, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius experienced an embarrassing moment when she uttered, “Don’t do this to me” into a live microphone.

Although Sebelius did not intend for her frustration and anger to be vetted all across the nation, she deserves credit for producing a concise statement about how most Americans view the Marxist nightmare known as “ObamaCare.”

Her slip also appears to be the only heartfelt and sincere words she spoke during a 3.5 hour grilling. Other than her unintended outburst, Madam Secretary stayed loyal to the talking points developed by progressives to make the ObamaCare Messianic mission appear to be a roaring success.

She was asked, has the President fulfilled his pledge that folks could “Keep your plan and doctor,” she unhesitatingly replied, “Yes, he has!”

Good God, is it not true that lying under oath is a felony? Why was she not arrested on the spot and charged with perjury?

Her devotion to the Barack Obama worship society became obvious when the Secretary fell on her sword by telling Congress to hold her accountable for the fiasco.

Unfortunately, like most of Sebelius’s testimony, her suicide sword was harmless plastic and as phony as Obama’s promise to cover 30 million uninsured souls while simultaneously reducing overall health-care costs.

A tragically- comedic moment came when Secretary Sebelius tried to dodge a question about whether she would sign-up for ObamaCare herself. To which she erroneously declared that she could not do so because it was “illegal.”

Illegal?

Imagine that, the bureaucrat entrusted with management of 16 percent of the US economy and the health care of 330 million Americans is utterly ignorant of the law, even as she tries to defend it before Congress.

In light of the Sebelius performance, is it any wonder that ObamaCare is likely to die at the hands of incompetent, power-mad bureaucrats who do not understand health care, the economy, or the American people?

Bottom Line: “Don’t do this to me!” may be the new rallying cry for patriots who advocate a separation between state and health care! 

John W. Lillpop
San Jose, California

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The Left’s Continued Assault on the Truth About Benghazi

by Roger Aronoff on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

The left-wing, George Soros-funded Media Matters has long held that the Benghazi scandal is a “phony scandal” and parroted the administration’s pronouncements minimizing the scandal. Now, they have penned a book, The Benghazi Hoax, which formalizes this theory.

“The book—the first such endeavor for Media Matters, which is self-publishing it—was conceived of in the spring, as the congressional hearings on Benghazi were taking place, he [David Brock] said,” according to Politico, which focused largely on the pro-Clinton aspects of the book. Brock is described in the article as the “Media Matters founder and Hillary Clinton ally,” and it points out that Brock acknowledges that part—a “fraction,” he claims—of their mission is “Supporting the Clintons.”

“The book is the latest effort this year in what is likely to be more Clinton-centric efforts ahead of 2016.” Indeed, the book mentions 2016 and Clinton several times and dismisses any attempts to tar Clinton’s reputation as part of the Republican-conservative smear machine. They even cry “sexism” on behalf of Clinton.

According to the book, authored by David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt, the genesis of the manufactured Benghazi scandal started in an impromptu statement by then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was looking to gain the advantage over incumbent President Barack Obama on foreign policy. Romney did make mistakes in his presentation of the issue, a fact that dominated the media coverage for days afterward. But this was not mentioned by Brock and Rabin-Havt.

The authors maintain that “Reporters for established news outlets work with a healthy skepticism for the administration in power, but when Democrats are in the White House, conservatives have become adept at badgering a so-called ‘liberal media’ to prove its lack of bias by adopting their story ideas.” In other words, the liberal media should just ignore conservative points of view entirely, and stories that are embarrassing to liberals, while Democrats are in office.

If Media Matters had its way, the Benghazi incident would just be considered one of many violent incidents abroad, and dismissed entirely. “Had the Benghazi attack not occurred at this unique moment—on a day when the Republican candidate for the presidency and his promoters in the conservative media were desperate for a new storyline, especially one that would undercut the popular effect of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden the year before—this tragedy might not have been converted into a political scandal,” they suggest. “After all, Benghazi was just one of at least 157 attacks on our diplomatic facilities over a 15-year period, 9 of which resulted in U.S. fatalities.”

Actually, this was the first time in 33 years a U.S. ambassador had died as a result of terrorism.

Other important facts left out of the book include the deteriorating security situation leading up to the terrorist attack, the inadequate security at the Special Mission Compound, and the fact that CIA employees are reportedly being polygraphed and forced to sign non-disclosure agreements regarding the Benghazi incident. The book fails to adequately explain what military forces were available at Sigonella, Aviano, and other U.S. military bases during the attack. There is a very shallow retelling of events that barely educates the reader as to what occurred at the Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex.

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