Rep. Darrell Issa: Federal Bureaucracies Are "Lazy"

Rep. Darrell Issa (R- Calif.) said on "Washington Unplugged" Tuesday that he thinks the real fault of the Toyota fiasco lies with federal bureaucracies, namely the Department of Transportation, for not holding the car conglomerate to higher safety standards.

Moderator and CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes asked Issa what he hopes to hear from the president of Toyota tomorrow.

"What is he going to do as the head of a global entity to bring about a cultural change that will have the respect for changes that occur after a car is out there," Issa said.

"I think Toyota used all of the tools available to try to state what they thought was true -- that the problems were simply carpet entrapment and not any electronics. There is no question, internal memos show, that they believed they did not have an electronics problem," Issa said, defending Toyota.

Instead, he said the Department of Transportation was lax in holding Toyota to a high safety standard.

"If you don't oversee bureaucracies, if you don't constantly say you have to do better, and shining light on them, they get lazy," Issa said, adding that the House Oversight Committee will work on this problem down the road.

Cordes asked whether there is a conflict of interest in members of Congress who have received donations from Toyota trying the company's leaders this week.

"Bill Gates gives me money, but that does not make me a Microsoft apologist," Issa said. "What you have to do in this town is not look at the contributions you get and look at the job you have."

"If you are not willing to do it, then you shouldn't be in this town," he said.

Watch the full interview above.

More on the Toyota Hearings:

Toyota: Recall's Success No Sure Bet
Toyota Victim Recounts "Near Death" Trip
Toyota Congressional Hearing Theater
Akio Toyoda Congressional Testimony: "I am Deeply Sorry" (Full Text)
Toyota Head Faces Culture Shock in U.S.
Are Electromagnetic Fields to Blame?
Documents: Toyota Surges Related to Electronics

"Washington Unplugged" appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

  • Michelle Levi

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