Darrell Issa

In the last few weeks of recess, while many members of congress have been campaigning and spending time with family back in their districts, Darrell Issa, the Republican representative from Vista, also has been busy writing letters critical of the Obama administration.

Issa, who is ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is seen as the Hill’s head antagonist of the White House. Since mid-August he has written at least two letters, two news releases and an opinion column criticizing how the administration is overseeing issues such as food safety and the Gulf oil spill.

Last week, for instance, he sent a letter to the Obama-appointed chairman of a board charged with overseeing how the government distributes stimulus dollars. He asked for an investigation of possible violations.

Issa pointed to a portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that prohibits using the money for a casino, aquarium, zoo, golf course or swimming pool. Then he listed five projects around the country where he says taxpayer money paid for activities at each of those types of facilities. None are in San Diego County.

For instance, he wrote, “AARA funds were provided to students “at Fortune Bay Resort & Casino to get hands on experience in various departments within the resort and casino at our Career Expo Day.”

If Republicans win the House this fall, Issa will become chairman of the House oversight committee and have power to subpoena the administration during investigations. He will be back on the Hill next week when Congress reconvenes.

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