By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Republican foes of President Obama's bailouts of automakers and Wall Street, global warming proposals, and healthcare reform are eagerly considering investigating those programs should the GOP retake control of the House, according to several involved in the discussions. Topping the list is global warming and the controversy over whether supporters of curbing carbon dioxide output used "tricks" to promote their claims of disastrous climate change. "Just imagine 13 months from now when we have subpoena power," said one Republican involved. Others are interested in looking into the president's healthcare reform plans and whether there are ties to industry or special interests. That case, said one Republican interested in a probe, might be modeled after the GOP probe into the secret meetings of the Clinton healthcare task force.
As Obama's approval ratings languish, the talk in GOP circles has been about a potential gain of 25 to 30 seats in the House. Some think it could reach much higher, especially if key Democrats in conservative districts retire, like Tennessee Rep. John Tanner decided to do to this week. Still, Democrats remain confident they'll keep the majority and limit retirements, especially if lawmakers can pass healthcare legislation this year and unemployment starts to drop.