Sunday, August 5, 2007

The disputed House vote on Thursday could lead to some far-ranging consequences. The House has agreed to establish a six-member select committee to investigate what happened on Thursday. CQ has a helpful summary:
The panel would be directed to make an interim report to the House by Sept. 30 and to deliver a final report by Sept. 15, 2008. The resolution also instructs officers of the House to preserve documents and recordings related to the vote in question. The panel, made up of three appointees of the Speaker and three of the minority leader, would have the power to subpoena documents and testimony.
It is this power of subpoena that could make this panel rather distinct, Paul Cane suggests (differentiating it from, say, a special committee on global warming that has no subpoena power), and WaPo calls this decision "extraordinary." Select committees have been called in the past to investigate executive power (e.g. Watergate), and those have had far-reaching consequences; could this committee also have such effects?
Who will be appointed to this committee? The Politico has a report on tensions within the Republican caucus of the House and how some Republicans are disappointed with Boehner's response to the disputed Thursday vote. How might these tensions shape Boehner's choices in appointing individuals to this committee? It seems to me that he may be under some pressure to appoint some "tough" Representatives to make sure that they pursue this investigation aggressively....
And whom might Speaker Pelosi pick to be on this committee?