Nadeau Invites Chaffetz to Human Services Committee Hearings - Office of Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau
The text of the letter is below.
February 2, 2017
Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2236 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Given your interest in managing the affairs of the District of Columbia, I would like to extend an invitation for you to join upcoming performance oversight hearings of the D.C. Council Committee on Human Services, which I chair. As our guest, you would have the opportunity to join District Councilmembers in asking tough oversight questions of D.C. agency directors and public witnesses. We will have a seat reserved for you.
Although my constituents did not elect you to make decisions about how their tax money is spent, I felt it was appropriate to give you a chance to serve them by helping my fellow Councilmembers hold our District agencies accountable. Our first hearing is Wednesday, February 15 at 10:00 a.m. at the John A. Wilson Building and will cover the District’s Department on Disability Services and Office of Disability Rights. Additional performance oversight hearings through the end of March are posted online.
You and I share a commitment to good government. You have made fighting waste, fraud and abuse a hallmark of your time in Congress. My first act as a Councilmember was to introduce an ethics reform bill that increases transparency and gives the District’s independent ethics board more power to find and prosecute corruption.
Your attendance at our hearings may be instructive though, since we represent very different places. The District is the heart of one of our nation’s largest metro areas with 660,000 residents living in 68 square miles. Half a continent away, your district has roughly the same population in 20,000 square miles. The Americans who voted for each of us are facing different challenges that require local solutions.
I applaud the work of Eleanor Holmes Norton, our tireless Congressional representative, but as you know (because you recently voted against it) she lacks even symbolic voting rights in Congress and therefore limited power to influence the decisions you make.
If it would be helpful, I am happy to serve in the same capacity on your Congressional oversight committee so that residents of the District can have additional, though still unequal, representation. It seems only fair, as the District sends the federal government more tax revenue than Utah (more than 21 states, actually) but has no say in how it’s spent.
I also look forward to speaking with you more about limited government and local control, which I understand are topics you speak often about when you’re home in Utah. I’m sure your constituents appreciate the countless hours of your limited time dedicated to managing the affairs of a city 2,000 miles from your state.
Brianne K. Nadeau
District of Columbia Councilmember, Ward 1
Chair, Human Services Committee