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With the newest Congress sworn in comes Capitol Hill's traditional musical chairs of parties switching leadership roles for committees and the like. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is charged with investigating the government's regulations to see if they're overreaching.
The recent chairman was ultra-liberal Henry Waxman of Los Angeles. But now, with the GOP in charge, that position goes to the man we can all blame (after KFI's John and Ken) for the disaster that was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: Congressman Darrell Issa.
Issa--whose district ends right at the Orange County-San Diego County line--has already sent letters to companies asking which regulations they find particularly burdensome, according to an article published last week in Food Safety News. His move prompted criticism from the committee's ranking member, Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who told MSNBC, "If you look at big business and you ask them what is it they don't like about regulation, they're going to probably send you a list of things that will allow them to make more money."
On one hand, food regulations are notoriously burdensome--witness the battles of trying to open up a restaurant. Then again, this is food we're talking about, which demands the utmost scrutiny. But the Food and Drug Administration is notoriously bureaucratic and inefficient, something most everyone can agree with and something that irks Issa to no end.
""We should not wait until hundreds of deaths occur in a food crisis before we address the serious fragmentations in federal oversight of our increasingly global food-supply chain," Issa wrote last year after the massive egg recall. We shall see if Issa's priorities are with the consumer or the producer. . . .