Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., ranking member and former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he was disappointed the majority canceled a hearing to look into malfeasance at the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service.
"Under my chairmanship, we held five hearings on improperly executed leases and what was and was not being done to recover the billions of dollars lost because of these errors," Davis said. "Now, the IG reports suggest MMS employees are drinking, taking drugs and having sex on the job, and our committee - the principle oversight committee in the House and the committee can't find time on our schedule to hold a hearing on any of this?"
The Committee announced a hearing in the morning on Sept. 11, then canceled it around lunchtime, reportedly because the Committee on Natural Resources claimed jurisdiction and announced plans to hold its own hearing.
"With all due respect to the Natural Resources Committee, our panel has the jurisdiction, expertise and experience in these complex contracting and procurement issues," Davis said. "With so many billions of dollar in federal revenue at stake, these matters need all the attention they can get."
Davis also blasted suggestions that MMS wrongdoing provided evidence in favor of Democrats' no-energy policies against reclaiming any oil and gas from domestic sources.
"The IG's findings do not fuel arguments against expanded offshore drilling any more than embezzlement in the DC tax office prove the city should stop collecting taxes," Davis said. "It's a question of management, transparency and accountability so the underlying policy can be pursued to the maximum benefit of taxpayers."