House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told Newsmax this week that he and his colleagues are "passing common-sense reforms to stop government abuse," even as some conservatives are voicing skepticism about the effort to highlight abuse of U.S. taxpayers by the IRS and Department of Justice.
With an assist from the House Republican Study Committee, Cantor kicked off what Republicans called "Stop Government Abuse Week" on Saturday when he delivered the response to the president's weekly radio address.
This week, Republican lawmakers have been highlighting the excesses of government agencies — notably that of the IRS — and will follow up when Congress returns this fall with 10 pieces of legislation designed to curb the errant bureaucracies.
The majority leader said, "The House is passing common-sense reforms to stop government abuse to protect citizens, save tax dollars and rein in waste."
The Virginia Republican spoke to Newsmax on Wednesday as several conservative radio talk show hosts began to voice on-air doubts that hearings or legislation would ever lead to significant change.
Veteran radio talk-show host Rick Roberts of San Diego spoke for many of his colleagues when he voiced his suspicions that any such hearings would lead to true reform.
"Can you tell me the last time any congressional investigation into a government agency led to any real reform in the way the federal government does business, or any significant change in public policy?" asked Roberts, who has also hosted talk shows in Dallas, Kansas City, and Denver.
Newsmax posed the query to Cantor.
"I'm proud of the work Chairman Issa, Chairman Camp and their committee members are conducting in their oversight efforts," Cantor said. "They are getting to the bottom of the government wrongdoing we've witnessed over the past year."
Rep. Darrell Issa of California is chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Both are Republicans.
Other Republican lawmakers insisted to Newsmax that the specter of greater IRS power under Obamacare will draw even greater national support for their legislation to rein it in.
With the implementation of Obamacare on the horizon, the IRS will play a part in nearly 50 different parts of the legislation officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
As to whether the Republicans will succeed in enacting legislation designed to tame that IRS power, Cantor simply said, "The president and his fellow Democrats should join these efforts."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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