- Win McNamee/Getty Images
- Democrats plan to mount countless investigations into President Donald Trump if they take back the House majority in the November midterm elections.
- The areas Democrats want to probe is vast, which could bring the Republican policy agenda to a grinding halt.
- A top Democrat in the House also said probing Trump’s personal finances is on the table.
WASHINGTON – Democrats plan to dramatically increase their oversight role if they take back the House majority in the midterm elections this November. The investigations into President Donald Trump’s administration, which could bring the White House’s policy agenda to a standstill, will cover a sizable amount of the executive branch.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer listed several of the areas Democrats would prioritize if they take back the House and mount a series of investigations, most of which involved the administration’s economic and health care agendas.
The committees on the Budget, Ways and Means, and Financial Services would probe Trump’s handling of the US economy and budgetary process, while others would look into botched natural disaster responses. Among the highest priorities for Democrats would be the Trump administration’s dismantling of former President Barack Obama’s signature policy, the Affordable Care Act.
“In terms of oversight, we’ll be looking at what they’re doing administratively to undermine the operations of the Affordable Care Act and what consequences they may have caused to literally millions of people,” Hoyer said in a meeting with reporters on Wednesday.
The oversight would involve everything from records requests to hauling in administration officials to testify in committee hearings.
An area that could be particularly stressful for Trump is the probing of his personal finances and benefits his properties and companies may or may not be receiving during his presidency.
“I think we’ll try to focus on issues which undermine the American people,” Hoyer added. “Also I think we want to focus on the integrity of the interests of the president in terms of what interests he has and is he pursuing policies that are in the public’s interest or in the Trump investment interest.”
While Hoyer hammered in that they would not want any investigations to be politically motivated, the accusations would likely come no matter what. When Republicans constantly probed officials and agencies during the Obama administration, many were called political witch hunts.
During the first two years of the Trump administration, House Republicans have avoided many of the heavy-handed investigations like the ones they wielded during Obama’s tenure.
The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections concluded long before the Senate’s similar probe, which is ongoing. House Intelligence Committee members, including some Republicans, condemned the process as a failure.
Republican Rep. Tom Rooney of Florida, who is retiring at the end of the year, said the investigation has “lost all credibility” and “gone completely off the rails.”
And Democrats on the committee called the investigation incomplete, suggesting a Democratic-controlled Congress could renew such efforts.
“On a whole host of investigative threads, our work is fundamentally incomplete, some issues partially investigated, others, like that involving credible allegations of Russian money laundering, remain barely touched,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee’s ranking Democrat. “If the Russians do have leverage over the president of the United States, the majority has simply decided it would rather not know.”
The pledge by Democrats to pursue countless investigations into the Trump administration could put a serious hindrance on Republicans’ agenda – and create dozens of nightmare scenarios for the president.