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With new oversight powers, House GOP aims to put Obama on defensive

Obama has faced little congressional oversight so far, but with House GOP probing into policies ranging from illegal immigration to health care, the president's oversight holiday may be over.

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"With 26 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, the discussion has to turn to the 7 million illegal workers in this country," he says.

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Work-site enforcement by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has dropped by 70 percent in the past two years, he adds. "We should put the interest of American workers ahead of illegal workers and clearly signal that."

Rep. Peter King (R) of New York, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, plans a controversial hearing this spring on the "radicalism" of US Muslims and the terrorist threat. Critics caution that the hearings could turn anti-Muslim.

Rep. Fred Upton (R) of Michigan, a moderate and chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, says his top priority will be "repealing the job-killing ObamaCare." In addition to probing the implementation of health-care reform, his panel will be investigating how the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to regulate climate change.

Rep. Spencer Ba­ch­­us (R) of Alabama aims to use his gavel on the Financial Services Committee to grill administration officials on bailouts and the new consumer protection agency. He is interested in dismantling parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill or defunding its implementation, and challenging the appointment of Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, who was appointed by Mr. Obama during a recess to be a special adviser to the Treasury secretary. The appointment avoided a controversial Senate confirmation.

Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas is chairing one of the most closely watched panels: the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy Committee. The subcommittee is charged with investigating the Federal Reserve, an institution that Representative Paul has proposed eliminating. At the very least, Paul wants to audit the Fed to learn more about how much access foreign lenders had to the Fed's emergency credit during the financial crisis.

Issa is bullish about the investigations. He suggests that probes into waste and fraud in Medicare, federal stimulus funds, and bailout programs could net the federal government $200 billion.


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