WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s been the site of some of the most contentious exchanges in Congress. The powerful House Oversight Committee is charged with primarily serving as a check on the executive branch but in recent years, it has become the stage for partisan feuds.
"I want to see the committee get back to what it was originally intended to do and that was provide real government oversight to ensure the federal government is transparent and accountable to the taxpayers," Rep. James Comer, (R-KY).
Elected to Congress in 2016, Comer was selected this week to be the Ranking Member of the committee. He’ll serve under Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney who assumed the role after the sudden death of Elijah Cummings. Since winning back the House majority in 2018, committee Democrats have scrutinized the Trump administration, with a particular focus on the alleged human rights violations at the border. Democrats accused Republicans of failing to hold Trump accountable when Republicans were in the majority.
"I’ve always been vocal in my passion to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse. My record in Kentucky was about eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse and that’s what I came to Congress on," he said.
Comer says Oversight can be a committee that produces policy.
"We can’t just continue to bail out the United States Postal Service but we need it and that is something that is very important in my rural district and a lot of districts across America. There’s a need to come together in a bipartisan way to pass comprehensive, common sense postal reform," said Comer.
"There’s also the potential for some type of facial recognition legislation. That’s an issue that both sides of the spectrum have concerns with. There are civil liberties concerns. There are a lot of concerns about current facial recognition laws," he added.
Chairwoman Maloney has consistently called for saving the USPS and introduced the 25 billion dollar Postal Preservation Act in May.
“Chairwoman Maloney believes facial recognition is a very important issue that raises significant bipartisan concerns, which is why she scheduled one of her first hearings as chair on this topic," said a senior Democratic Committee aide.