@vjeannek 1/ When this new Democratic majority took formal control of the House it fortified congressional oversight power in its new rules package.
@vjeannek 2/ This is something that I have pushed the Republicans to do under the worthless RINO Paul Ryan, but that worthless waste of oxygen just sat up on his speakership and stuffed his pockets for early retirement.
@vjeannek 3/ Things like subpoena power being singular, in other words not needing an agreement of committee leaders. If one side wants to subpoena witnesses they should be able to and the other side not block them by failing to agree.
@vjeannek 4/ Schiff did this for several years and Nunes screamed for Ryan to change committee rules and he wouldn't.
@vjeannek 5/ I sad it back during the Benghazi hearings that the minute the left comes into power they will change the rules and it will e open season on the Trump family, well here you go and I was right. That's what they do.
@vjeannek 6/ Harry Reid proved it in the senate on Judges appointments when he waived the filibuster rules and it came back to haunt them.
@vjeannek 7/ Mitch refuses to waiver the filibuster entirely and I'm telling you now the very day Schumer gets the gavel he will change the rules, you heard here first. At the same time, a lot of additional.
@vjeannek 8/ So the 116th Congress removed practical barriers to compelling witnesses to appear for depositions by subpoena. docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/…
@vjeannek 9/ See Section 103 (pp. 22-23) of the new House rules where it says when activity is happening at the committee-level as they each convene their organizational business meetings and finalize their subcommittee structure and staffing?
@vjeannek 10/ In the actual wording it spells it out in very plain language
@vjeannek 11/ During the One Hundred Sixteenth Congress, the chair of a standing committee (other than the Committee on Rules), and the chair of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, upon consultation with the ranking minority member of such committee, may order the taking of…
@vjeannek 12/ …depositions, including pursuant to subpoena, by a member or counsel of such committee.
@vjeannek 13/ Depositions taken under the authority prescribed in this subsection shall be subject to regulations issued by the chair of the Committee on Rules and printed in the Congressional Record.
@vjeannek 14/ Now this rule presents two significant developments promoting aggressive oversight. You have to pay close attention to the actual words to catch it.
@vjeannek 15/ the chairs of the standing committees and intelligence committee now all have the functional power to issue subpoenas unilaterally. An obligation to consult with the Republican ranking member falls far short of an obligation to agree.
@vjeannek 16/ This is what I mentioned earlier, and I actually agree with this change. It's just stupid that Ryan sat on his damn hands and did nothing to help his committee chairs in their investigatory powers.
@vjeannek 17/ Now granted there is an uneven historical record on this score over time and among committees, the prevailing practice in congresses of decades past was to authorize subpoenas by formal committee vote rather than to delegate the power to do so to the chair.
@vjeannek 18/ After Henry Waxman's tenure as chair of the House Committee on Oversight and "Government" Reform, stood on the floor of the house and warned this was coming in 2011 and no one was listening.
@vjeannek 19/ Schiff now has renamed it the "House Committee on Oversight and Reform" (dropped the government) to emphasize the broader mandate of the committee to investigate reforms in the private sector as well as government operations.
@vjeannek 20/ This was a direct design so they could go after the Trump private business and family members in private life prior to Trump becoming POTUS. This is how the game is played, and the feckless Republicans sit back and let it happen.
@vjeannek 21/ When Dan Burton and Darrell Issa actually did this in their respective committees and that crying POS John Boehner went along with it, the left screamed McCarthyism at the tops of their lungs, and said this should never happen ever, and now look at them.
@vjeannek 22/ All this mister nice guy bullshit of these spineless republicans needs to go, vote them out. Either fight the fight or go the hell home.
@vjeannek 23/ So what was once confined to the oversight committee alone, these successive new rules packages have continued to expand the number of committee chairs with that power.
@vjeannek 24/ That trend toward unilateral, partisan subpoena power in the hands of committee chairs has continued its march, mirroring the increasingly polarized political environment the left stokes at ever damn turn.
@vjeannek 25/ While this practice stops a recalcitrant minority from hamstringing legitimate investigations, it risks facilitating partisanship in investigations of interest to the majority. So it's a double edged sword
@vjeannek 26/ BIT it is also a practice that lets other members of the majority off the hook because they do not have to go on record for a roll call vote in committee to approve a subpoena. The Democrats are continuing down this path with this rule change.
@vjeannek 27/ You can only damn hope the chairs will exercise that power responsibly, but with Schiff don't expect much. He's getting even with all the jocks in school that locked him in his locker and pulled his underwear up over his head his entire adolescent life.
@vjeannek 28/ I have forgotten about you @vjeannek I just run all over the place to get there, so bear with me. Depositions and changes in the rules regarding them have been broadened somewhat but still require both parties the opportunity to attend. Back to the text:
@vjeannek 29/ (this is very paraphrased because it's wordy as hell with legalese) Broadened Deposition Authority.
@vjeannek 30/ Congress broadened its deposition authority and bandwidth by granting a number of committees the ability to have staff-conducted depositions rather than requiring a Member to attend.
@vjeannek 31/ Specifically, Subsection (b) provides the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, Science, Space, and Technology, and Ways and Means deposition authority to be conducted by a member or committee counsel during the first session of the 114th Congress.
@vjeannek 32/ (Section 3, Separate Orders, Subsection (b)).
@vjeannek 33/ The ability to proceed without Member-involvement will vastly increase these committees’ functional ability and bandwidth to conduct depositions; although I note that not much national security oversight jurisdiction is implicated.
@vjeannek 34/ That all sounds great right? Well notice whose missing. "Select Committees" no mention of the select committees. SO we scroll down to page 23 to find out what is going on with Select Committees.
@vjeannek 35/ It's wordy with legalese as well but notice this: PROVIDING FOR TRANSPARENCY WITH RESPECT
15 THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. That's an immovable object thank goodness.
@vjeannek 36/ now on down to page 48 and it breaks down a lot of stuff, more word soup, but the sections of article 5 gets us there in the transparency part of it where both parties but be given the opportunity to attend all depositions under article 5 (iii) Clause 2(m)(1)(B) of rule XI,…
@vjeannek 37/ …clause
8 2(m)(3) of rule XI, and section 103(a) of this resolution shall not apply to the Select Committee and the Select Committee may recommend subpoenas and depositions and submit such recommendations to the relevant standing committee.
@vjeannek 38/ However they fall short of forfeiting the mandate that both parties opportunity to attend. This is where I think Schiff is going to have some issues. Not saying anything drastic but I would love to see him lose his chairmanship over parliamentary violations.
@vjeannek 39/ But I also want a mint condition 1935 Chevy PU too. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (went old school unicode on you there)
@vjeannek 40/ So under the GOP-led committee investigations, the rule was that formal depositions required a Member to be present, and the subpoena power was limited to witness appearances at formal hearings or depositions and required both parties to be there.
@vjeannek 41/ They dropped the member requirement and allowed staff to do it, but the article 5 protection keeps the both party transparency in place.
@vjeannek 42/ under the old rules therefore, the negotiations for appearances by executive branch and nongovernment witnesses typically resulted in the following bargain, either a committee would withdraw a subpoena threat for a deposition if the witness would agree to a staff-led…
@vjeannek 43/ …transcribed interview. The benefit of the bargain for Congress was the ability to dispense with Member attendance, and the witness obtained the benefit of a “voluntary” appearance as a formal matter keeping the specter of contempt of Congress one step removed from an…
@vjeannek 44/ …appearance compelled by subpoena. That was the gentlemanly way to do things. Oh that shit don't fly in the 116th. Under the new rules, Congress no longer benefits to the same degree from the old compromise. Therefore, subpoenas are more likely to be the coin of the realm.
@vjeannek 45/ Two additional points are also worthy of note in the new rules: First, I am unclear what role the Committee on Rules is supposed to play under the new rule. I do not recall a previous provision empowering the Rules committee to regulate deposition authority across committees.
@vjeannek 46/ While the Rules committee is active and had its organizational business meeting on January 8th, as best I can tell it has not released any materials related to deposition authority regulations as yet. That's a problem possibly down the road, they can still tweak this.
@vjeannek 47/ Second, and this isn't a bad thing the Democratic majority granted oversight jurisdiction, but not subpoena authority, to the two "new" select committees it formed. The Select Committees on Climate Change and Modernization of Congress.
@vjeannek 48/ If these committees meet an investigative obstacle requiring a subpoena, they may refer matters to primary committees of jurisdiction for compulsory process (See pp. 47-48, p. 53, respectively).
@vjeannek 49/ One I guess can assume (and I hate that ass/u/me) that this was part of the compromise required by permanent committee chairs in order to support the creation of select committees that could encroach on their jurisdictional prerogatives.
@vjeannek 50/ Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether this cumbersome process for issuing subpoenas will make the new committees less effective, or whether it will have beneficial impacts of greater cross-committee cooperation on serious issues.
@vjeannek 51/ I personally think these two committees are just slush funds for more spending on ideology nonsense, but as has been said 100s of times "elections have consequences". I hope they stay hamstrung personally.
@vjeannek 52/ We kinda watched part of this playout after tense negotiations and a subpoena threat, acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker agreed to appear before the House Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing in February.
@vjeannek 53/ It will be the first of many such skirmishes between the two ends of Pennsylvania Ave. These rules will strengthen the House oversight hand, and bargaining under the shadow of the new rules may already be having an effect. We will just have to watch and see.
@vjeannek 54/ I just hope the right will stand their ground and no fold up like cheap lawn chairs. However the part of a new rules package, where the House Democrats dropped that rule for the House Oversight and Reform Committee, is directly aimed at this President and a move that…
@vjeannek 55/ …underscores their interest in pursuing investigations into the Trump administration and Trump companies in sectors ranging from tech to financial services. These bastards want to see his taxes so bad they've gone all in.
@vjeannek 56/ The new rule reverts back to the standard in place the last time Democrats held the House super majority in the 2009-10 session. I just hope these left wing bastards remember this because payback is a Bitch and her stripper name is karma.
@vjeannek 57/ drop the word “government” from what was formerly known as the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, opened the door for this crap, so here it comes. Sorry for the long rant
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