GSA Hearings Heating Up, Part II
Rep. Mica is going on ad nauseum on how he used to conduct his committees and, despite the fact that Waxman has already answered him, and yet he has still be going on and on. Waxman now answering again. Nothing like a hissy fit over who gets what time.
Rep. Issa (R-CA) is now up. And continues the whine about time rules. Issa says he is frustrated because he came out of the business world, too — and to fight the bureaucracy that sits all around us in government. "The people who are here when you get here and will be gone long after you are gone," as Issa characterizes them. (CHS says: Charming.)
Issa characterizing the briefing as something given from "the man who appointed you, and who expected you to carry out policies that he approved." And now is going on about federal employees who work on the Hill who do things to keep their members in office, as though this is some shocking revelation. Well, apparently it is for Doan, because she didn't know that political employees have an interest in keeping their political bosses in office to keep their political jobs.
Now talking about removing barriers for people of color and disabled veterans. Issa says it is hard to do business with the government. (CHS: well, there's a shocker — having had to fill out paperwork or help clients with it in the past, that really ought to be no shocker for anyone who has had to deal with this.)
12:05 pm ET
Doan says: Trying really hard to carve out business opportunities for minorities.
Rep. Higgins (D-NY): Higgins now going through several of the points on the Jennings presentation — and e-mails regarding the same. (As Braley said earlier — the committee has obtained statements from at least 6 GOP appointees in GSA about the statement that Doan allegedly made after the Jennings presentation.)
Jennings' assistant e-mailed the GSA from an RNC e-mail addy, not a WH e-mail addy. Jennings sent an e-mail as well from a GWB43 e-mail account to a GSA liaison. Doan not aware that her staf was comunicating with the WH Political Office on non-official e-mail addys.
Truesdale says that the information could not be shared prior to the presentation — "close hold" — that Jennings said it was highly secretive and that they couldn't share it ahead of time. Higgins says that this was closely held because it was sensitive political information — NOT appropriate to use government agencies for political purposes. Why were RNC e-mail addys used to discuss highly sensitive political issues — not WH e-mail addys.
Rep. Burton (R-IN) up asking questions now. (CHS notes: If Burton starts talking about his tenure in investigating the Clintons as being valid, I'm going to laugh…and there it is. "There's nothing as righteous as a reformed lady of the evening." And, nothing as smug as a man who is still fighting the battles from 9 years ago, eh, Dan?)
Dan Burton's face is getting all red, and he says, "You did that for six years, and now you'll have to eat it." Waxman now adding the report/investigation on Burton's investigations into the record. (CHS says: Geesh, this is getting crabby today. Did someone hit a GOP nerve?)
Rep. Davis gets into the fact that the WH employee outside e-mail usage was the WH's fault, not Doan's doing.
Rep. McCollum (D-Minn.) asking questions about the information given to Doan — did you get a booklet on Hatch Act? Doan can't remember.
Now going through more Powerpoint slides on youth vote, 72-hour GOTV efforts, and lots of others.
Rep. Sarbanes (D-MD) — getting into the SunMicrosystems contracting issue. Commercial customers getting better deal than the government contrac, which red flagged them for the IG's office. Curious about Doan's role in this. Doan emphasizing the "I'm a manager" tack.
Three pieces: (1) Cutting people for trying to do their jobs, (2) undercutting oversight and (3) undercutting employees from above that is demoralizing within the agency.
Rep. Shays (R-CT) — Gosh, you sure are terrific.
12:34 pm ET
Davis and Doan now talking about the bad relationship between the IG's office and Doan, and how that bad relationship causes problems with the GSA's relationships with the vendors. Davis is trying to walk her through the problems of debarment — and Doan is checking with her legal counsel because she's not sure that Davis is correct — meanwhile, Davis is getting frustrated because he's trying to walk her through the GOP talking points on this on the record. (CHS: This is one of the things that you deal with as an attorney with a client who either doesn't listen to you or thinks they know better than you when they testify. It's kind fo fun to watch this from the outside looking in, I have to say.)
And now we're back to the timing whining again. Rep. Mica truly has the whiniest voice, and keep saying, over and over, "Parliamentary inquiry." (CHS notes: this sounds like The Peanut begging for a piece of candy. "Momma, piece of candy?" "Momma, piece of candy?")
Rep. Welch (D-Vermont) — Was this a proper presentation for a GSA lunch? Doan: Office of Special Counsel has opened an inquiry and I can't talk about this while they are investigating. (And now we've gone through this question four times, with the same results.)
Saying that her husband gets frustrated with her not remembering their wedding anniversary. Welch says that this is a very serious discussion, and he finds her, frankly, evasive on this.
(CHS asks: Can someone ask if she has been directed to answer this question in this particular way and, if so, by whom.)
Series of votes on the House floor. They are recessing to take care of the votes, and will continue when voting has concluded.
Whew! What a morning of testimony.
1:40 pm ET — Hearing restarts.
Rep. Norton asking about "preaudit funding" that was expressly appropriated by Congress, and that Doan cut out of the budget. Doan says she decided to rein in spending for an agency area that was over budget. Norton is disgusted with the non-answer and disregard for Congressional direction, but her time is up for questioning.
Rep. Teirney (D-MA) up now. Doan did not look at SBA report. Doan now directed to answer questions — and not filibuster answers. Tierney now getting into the differential between SunMicrosystems over-pricing to government over and above private contracting.
Doan did not look at SunMicrosystems audit information from the IG about the cost overages. Tierney discussing the fact that somehow, Doan just never seems to have been involved or responsible. (CHS notes stylisitically, he's also doing an excellent cross-examination style of questioning.) Doan says she wasn't "involved," she was exercising "proper oversight" with Mr. Williams. Says that Tierney is mischaracterizing and its outrageous. Tierney says that he was reading directly from e-mails that Doan herself provided the Committee.
On to Rep. Davis again.
Starting new thread.