Huffington Post: House Democrats Walk Out Of One-Sided Hearing On Contraception, Calling It An 'Autocratic Regime'

-By Laura Bassett & Amanda Terkel

February 16, 2012- WASHINGTON -- Three Democrats walked out of a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on religious liberty and the birth control rule on Thursday to protest Chairman Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) refusal to allow a progressive woman to testify in favor of the Obama administration's contraception rule. The morning panel at the hearing consisted exclusively of men from conservative religious organizations.

"What I want to know is, where are the women?" Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked Issa before walking out of the hearing after the first panel. "I look at this panel, and I don't see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?"

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), told reporters in the hallway outside the hearing that she marched out because it was being conducted like an "autocratic regime." The other members who left were Maloney and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.).

Huffington Post: Darrell Issa Requests Interview Of Former Countrywide Financial CEO In Congressional Mortgage Probe

-By Larry Margasak

February 15, 2012- WASHINGTON — House investigators want to interview Angelo Mozilo, the former Countrywide Financial Corp. chief executive whose VIP program gave discounted mortgages to member of Congress, other government officials and influential people who could help the company.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has been investigating the VIP operation to learn who received special deals from the program known internally as "Friends of Angelo."

Issa's letter, dated Tuesday and obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, was sent to Mozilo's attorney, David Siegel, in Los Angeles. Siegel commented, "We received the request today and will respond to the committee's staff as appropriate."

Huffington Post: 'Fast And Furious' Operation: Justice Department Rejects Cover-Up Claim Made By Darrell Issa

-By Pete Yost

February 1, 2012- WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Wednesday rejected an assertion by a House committee chairman that top Justice officials are covering up events surrounding a flawed gun-smuggling probe, Operation Fast and Furious.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., made the accusation in a letter threatening to seek a contempt of Congress ruling against Attorney General Eric Holder for failing to turn over congressionally subpoenaed documents that were created after problems with Fast and Furious came to light. Holder was to testify Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Issa chairs.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole responded that the department will provide material created after Feb. 4, 2011, the day the department gave incorrect information to Congress about Fast and Furious. At the time, the department said federal agents made every effort to intercept illegally purchased weapons. Instead, agents in the Phoenix-based Fast and Furious investigation tried to track the weapons after purchase to make cases against gun-smuggling ring leaders who had long escaped prosecution.

Huffington Post: House Oversight Committee To Hold McPherson Square Hearing

January 17, 2012- WASHINGTON -- The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced Tuesday that it will hold a hearing next week about Occupy DC's McPherson Square tent city.

The hearing, tellingly titled "McPherson Square: Who Made the Decision to Allow Indefinite Camping in the Park?," will address the decision-making process the National Park Service used to decide to allow Occupy DC to maintain its presence in the downtown park, despite federal regulations that seemingly prohibit camping.

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier and Department of Health Director Mohammed Akhter are scheduled to testify at next week's hearing.

Washington Post: Issa challenges Occupy D.C.’s claim to McPherson Square

-By Tim Craig

December 13, 2011- Amid rising tension between Occupy D.C. protesters and some congressional leaders, a House committee is investigating why the National Park Service has allowed demonstrators to remain camped in McPherson Square.

The probe by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee represents a new turn in the debate locally and nationally about whether Occupy Wall Street protesters should be allowed to stake claim to public property as part of their demonstrations against what they say are economic and political inequalities.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the committee, sparked the investigation with a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this week, accusing Occupy D.C. of damaging McPherson Square after $400,000 in taxpayer funds were spent in recent years to improve it. He also questioned whether the Park Service has disregarded its own rules by making exceptions for the 10-week-old protest.

Huffington Post: NRC 'Coup' Leader, Bill Magwood, Consulted For Fukushima Parent Company

-By Ryan Grim

December 12, 2011- WASHINGTON -- Bill Magwood, the man at the center of an effort to overthrow the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and his most likely successor if the move is successful, served as a consultant for Tepco, the Japanese company that owns the Fukushima nuclear power plant, according to information provided by Magwood as part of his nomination and confirmation process, which was obtained by The Huffington Post.

On Friday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released a letter signed by Magwood and three other commissioners attacking the panel's chairman, Gregory Jaczko, setting off a firestorm in the energy industry. Issa and the four commissioners framed the dispute as personal and managerial, but emails released by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) show a political and ideological battle underway over post-Fukushima safety standards.

Fast Company: Beyond SOPA: Rep. Darrell Issa's Big Plans For Digitizing Democracy

-By Gregory Ferenstein

December 19, 2011- Over the past six months, Issa's launched an interactive subcommittee livestream, produced a new form of online polling, and sponsored a bill to make government spending trackable.

Engineer and congressional Republican firebrand Darrell Issa is leveraging his supporters' collective outrage against a contentious anti-piracy bill, SOPA, to showcase his new experimental crowdsourcing legislative platform. "Project Madison" invites the legions of angry technology firms and policy wonks to construct their own version of an alternative anti-piracy bill on a new online platform.

Huffington Post: GOP Defends Bishops Over Grant For Sex Trafficking Victims

-By Laura Bassett

December 1, 2011- House lawmakers sparred bitterly on Thursday over the Obama administration's decision to deny a group of Catholic bishops a lucrative grant because they refused to refer sex trafficking victims to a full range of reproductive services. Republicans accused the administration of being overtly anti-Catholic and promoting abortion, while Democrats said the GOP had scheduled the hearing with the sole purpose of "smearing" President Obama.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently decided not to renew a $19 million, five-year contract with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to help sex trafficking victims because the group does not refer survivors to abortion or contraception services. The three groups who received the grant instead of the bishops -- Tapestri of Atlanta, Heartland Human Care Services of Chicago and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants of Washington -- all agreed to provide victims "the full range of reproductive services" recommended by the health department.