Let’s talk oversight – the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to be super specific. This Committee is primarily meant to lead investigations into malfeasance but instead is often a bully pulpit for topics du jour (previous examples include investigations into/hearings about Major League Baseball and World Wrestling Entertainment – separately! – about the steroid use, religious freedom and birth control, and Monica Lewinsky).
Enter Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the Committee Chair. Chaffetz’s pet investigation in the previous Congress was into The Hillary Clinton Email SCANDAL. WHERE ARE THE EMAILS, HILLZ?? Before that, Chaffetz was very concerned about Benghazi. See a theme? And, when it looked like HRC was going to take the presidency in October, he said in an interview: “Even before we get to Day One [of the presumed Clinton presidency], we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.” Sounds like a fishing expedition, right? Hold that thought.
So one would think that a Donald Trump presidency, what with all the Russia stuff and the business ties and the family ties and the Tweet machine threats on judges and the white supremacist in the White House appointed to the National Security Council without totally getting it and so much more, that Chaffetz would be wetting his pants with excitement about the immediate need for some major oversight and investigation! Right? RIGHT?!
Nope, sorry. This is not a feel good story about a Republican who actually holds true to their values no matter who is in charge. No, this guy (who claims he’s all for small government) has set his sights on overseeing someone else – and that someone is Washington, DC.
As discussed previously, Washington, DC pays more in federal taxes per person than anywhere else in the country and has a larger population than Wyoming and Vermont. Despite this, we have taxation without representation, which creates a lot of challenges for us, such as Congress – starting at the Oversight Committee – has the ability to overturn any of the laws passed by the District of Columbia’s government or through referendums. I’ll give you one guess who has decided that governing over DC is a critical part of his job.
Chaffetz’ constituents are not happy, to say the least. However, when they showed up to express their unhappiness at last week’s town hall, Chaffetz made it clear that he wouldn’t be going into a “fishing expedition” in investigating Trump. “Until we see something that is actual wrongdoing, we’re probably not going to go on a fishing trip to go see.” Chaffetz disrespected the constituents who came to the town hall, accusing them of being “paid protesters.” We’ve heard that one before.
He did call out Kellyanne Conway for asking people to buy Ivanka Trump’s clothes in a television appearance, so don’t be too disappointed, folks! (Seriously. All he did was call her out despite a blatant violation of the law.)
So now what?
Live outside of DC? Call your Representative and tell them you believe Washington, DC should have voting representation in Congress, and ask where they stand on this issue.
Live in the Third District of Utah? Call your guy on home. His DC office phone number is (202) 225-7751. Tell him to do his job and focus on his constituents.
Live in DC? Join Hands Off DC on today (Monday, February 13) at 5:00 PM to rally outside the Rayburn House Office Building to protest Representative Jason Chaffetz’s attempt to nullify the District’s Death with Dignity Act. Hands Off DC will also be meeting with Councilmember Charles Allen at 6:30 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center to talk about plans for moving forward. Just in case it wasn’t clear, no one will be getting paid for attending the rally or the meeting.
And don’t forget – for as long as Chaffetz has a deep concern for the District, he should know about the issues that trouble us on daily basis, such as garbage pick-up and potholes. The third district of Utah has, for now, grown by 658,893.