The House Judiciary Committee under the new leadership of Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has continued an aggressive approach to its oversight of the Justice Department, launching and relaunching investigations into alleged mismanagement within the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section, lax enforcement of gun laws and now, wasteful spending, among other concerns.
“The committee will methodically examine the Department of Justice for waste, fraud and abuse,” Goodlatte said in a joint statement released earlier this week with Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), chairman of the crime, terrorism, Homeland Security, and investigations subcommittee.
The statement goes on to list examples of wasteful spending that have been the subject of past GOP criticism, including the department’s acquisition of Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois.
“DOJ spent $165 million to purchase this prison, even though the Bureau of Prisons already had four brand new federal prisons waiting to be put to use,” according to the statement from the lawmakers.
Meanwhile, the Virginia Republican announced earlier this month that he intends to hold a hearing on an Inspector General report, which found a “disappointing lack of professionalism” in the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section during the Obama and Bush administrations.
Goodlatte derided President Barack Obama’s nomination of the Civil Division’s chief, Tom Perez, to head the Labor Department.
“I am shocked the president is moving forward with this nomination,” Goodlatte said in a statement following the nomination. “The IG report brought to light insufficiencies in the Division’s management, significant impediments to its operation, and deep ideological polarization.”
Goodlatte took over the full committee chairmanship this year after the previous chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), was required to step down under GOP term limit rules.