Congressman Souder is doing it again. Condoleezza Rice has been asked to testify about the Bush Administration’s now-defunct claim that Iraq sought uranium from Niger, a small nation in Africa. According to Bush, Iraq had tried to buy thousands of high-strength aluminum tubes, which Bush said were “used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.”
Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California wants Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to testify about the Bush administration’s claim that Iraq sought uranium from Niger. Rice has not responded to Waxman’s request, setting up a clash between the White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Of course Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd is trying to keep his perch on his proverbial fence by saying
he’s frustrated with the Bush administration’s lack of cooperation with Congress just as he was frustrated with the lack of cooperation by the Clinton administration.
But, on the other hand, he said he won’t vote to subpoena Rice because no previous secretary of state has testified to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and “because there are at least two other committees with prime responsibility. It is also not clear what additional information could be presented, given previous hearings and written responses.”
What a difference a change in power makes. Both Souder and Dan Burton, R-6th, are longtime members of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Burton was chairman of the committee for six years when Republicans controlled the House. During that time, more than 1,000 subpoenas, including many to top Clinton administration officials, were issued when the Committee was investigating campaign finance and presidential pardons.
“The question tomorrow,” Souder said, “is: Since the obvious, perhaps sole, reason for the requests is political, is exercising that power justified?” Wow! Now he finds the argument that politics is not justification for issuing subpoenas. What a revelation! And all those investigations under the Clinton Administration by the Republican-controlled Congress weren’t politically motivated? Obviously, Souder plans to vote against a motion to subpoena Secretary Rice.