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THE HILL: GOP Lawmaker Vows to Haul Climate Czar before Congress

By Ben Geman -

A Michigan Republican lawmaker is promising to make the White House climate czar a familiar face by repeatedly bringing her in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Rep. Fred Upton, who is gunning to chair the powerful panel, vows to end “the free pass of zero-accountability for Obama czars” such as White House energy adviser Carol Browner.

“Given her extensive influence within the administration, one would think [current Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry] Waxman would want to hear her at some point,” Upton writes in a Nov. 1 column in the conservative publication Human Events that is being circulated around town by his staff.

“Given her absence from Capitol Hill for the last two years, there is little doubt that she will surely become a familiar face with Republicans in charge. We have questions, and the American people deserve answers,” the column adds.

Upton is burnishing his conservative bona fides as he seeks to be chairman when the GOP assumes House control next year.

Various lobbyists and aides say Upton has the pole position to head the committee, but Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) — who is currently the panel’s senior Republican — and others are also eyeing chairmanship.

Upton’s column calls Browner the Obama administration’s “point person for a massive economy-killing national energy tax in the form of a cap-and-trade scheme.”

But more broadly, it takes aim at Obama’s use of “czars,” or high-level advisers who are not confirmed by the Senate. Czars are common targets of conservative ire even though presidents from both parties have surrounded themselves with them.

“House Republicans pledge to conduct vigorous oversights of the Obama administration next year if the American people entrust us with the Majority. With Republicans at the helm and exercising its authority to oversee activities of the executive branch, we will restore the public trust and subject this White House and its dozens of czars to the scrutiny that taxpaying Americans expect and deserve,” Upton writes.


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