The WikiLeaks debacle, corruption in Afghanistan and Obama administration regulation are all on the agenda as Rep. Darrell Issa prepares to take the helm of the top House committee tasked with watch-dogging Washington.
Fox News has obtained a tentative outline of the hearings Issa plans to hold when he takes over the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The California Republican's game plan is being closely watched as Democrats worry about the lengths to which he'll go to pull back the curtain on the alleged missteps of the past two years.
Issa has tried to tamp down concerns about his agenda, but does not deny he'll be in a state of "constant battle" with the White House. He said in an interview Sunday that he views the administration as one of the "most corrupt" in modern times.
According to the tentative agenda provided by Capitol Hill sources, the first hearing on Issa's list will be targeted at the administration. Leading the agenda is a hearing on the "impact of regulation on job creation."
"We need to start by asking a very fundamental question: Why hasn't the economy created the private-sector jobs the president promised?" the memo said.
That hearing would call business leaders to testify about how government regulations are doing "harm to job-creation efforts." The hearing falls in line with what Issa talked about Sunday, when he told "Fox News Sunday" that administration regulation is hurting American competitiveness.
According to the agenda, Issa also plans to hold hearings on the role played by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the foreclosure crisis. For that, he intends to call the Federal Housing Administration chief to testify, along with non-government experts. Along those lines, Issa is planning a hearing examining the "failure" of another government panel to find out more about the financial crisis -- he wants to dig into the work of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which he claims has done a "biased" and "highly partisan" job of looking for the root causes of the financial crisis.
Issa also plans to detour into foreign policy. According to the memo, he'll hold a hearing on how to combat corruption in Afghanistan. He also plans a hearing on WikiLeaks, examining ways the federal government can plug the disclosure of more sensitive information in the future. He plans to call National Security Adviser Tom Donilon to testify.
Issa said on "Fox News Sunday" that Attorney General Eric Holder needs to either do more to crack down on the WikiLeaks document dumps or leave the administration.
However, Democrats have pushed back against Issa's agenda. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., in line to be the ranking Democrat on the committee this year, released a statement Monday saying he looks forward to working with Issa to ensure government efficiency.
"However, I will reiterate that I will draw a line at any witch hunts or hearings that are conducted purely for political gains," he said. "Like Mr. Issa, I want to ask tough questions and ensure the highest standard from our public employees. However, I will ask him not to prejudge any of these issues, nor seek answers only to confirm political leanings."