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Republicans Try To Outflank Waxman On Iraq Probe

As Rep. Henry Waxman begins a series of high-profile hearings into waste, fraud, and abuse in the Iraq contracting process, Republicans on Capitol Hill are trying not to totally be on the receiving end of the barrage of negative press that's bound to follow and to appear proactive on the oversight front.

The opening salvo in this battle was fired by Rep. Tom Davis, the ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which Waxman chairs.

Davis announced that he had established an E-mail address, anonymous whistleblower tip line, and online "reform suggestion box" to help citizens pass on tips about waste, fraud, or abuse. David Marin, minority staff director for the committee, told U.S. News that Davis wants to progress from snail mail to better use of technology to reach out to whistleblowers.

"Furthermore, we want to make sure that all waste, fraud, and abuse is addressed," Marin says, "not just that which is most politically appealing to Democrats." Davis also wants to focus on beefing up laws to strengthen whistleblower protections, says Marin. Davis's announcement followed Waxman's that he had established a similar hotline.

By Chitra Ragavan

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