Issa to let corporate America call the shots

ISSA TO LET CORPORATE AMERICA CALL THE SHOTS…. Over the summer, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) made no effort to hide his intentions for 2011. If made the chairman of the House oversight committee, the right-wing Californian would simply ignore corporate misconduct, focusing instead on White House witch hunts.

“I won’t use [power] to have corporate America live in fear that we’re going to subpoena everything,” Issa vowed. “I will use it to get the very information that today the White House is either shredding or not producing.”

With that background in mind, Issa allowing his corporate allies to write his agenda for him doesn’t exactly come as a surprise.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants the oil industry, drug manufacturers and other trade groups and companies to tell him which Obama administration regulations to target this year.

The incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — in letters sent to more than 150 trade associations, companies and think tanks last month — requested a list of existing and proposed regulations that would harm job growth.

It’s one thing to promise in advance to look the other way on corporate wrongdoing. But Issa is effectively telling business leaders, “Go ahead and set my oversight agenda for me.”

Remember, as far as the Republicans’ “Tea Party” base is concerned, the new GOP majority is about some kind of economic populism, and a break with entrenched special interests. Issa is offering change, but it’s the kind of change in which wealthy and powerful business leaders effectively give Congress instructions on what to do.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.