CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 5481 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Wednesday, June 23, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) on June 8, 2010.
H.R. 5481 would grant subpoena power to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling established by Executive Order No. 13543 of May 21, 2010. The commission may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, records, correspondence, memoranda, and other documents.
A subpoena may be issued only by agreement of the Co-Chairs of the Commission or by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Commission.
H.R. 5481 specifies that any U.S. district court for a district in which a person issued a subpoena resides, is served, or may be found, or where the subpoena is returnable, shall have jurisdiction to enforce the subpoena.
In response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, President Obama issued an executive order to establish a National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The Commission is tasked with providing recommendations on how to prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills that result from offshore drilling. The Commission is co-chaired by former Florida Governor and former Senator Bob Graham and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency William K. Reilly.
Some Members may be concerned that as the AP has noted, the "panel appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is short on technical expertise but long on talking publicly about "America's addiction to oil."
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not produced a cost estimate for H.R. 5481 as of press time.