- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 6, 2018

In September alone, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, called for the panel to issue subpoenas to the Trump administration on seven different investigations, ranging from immigration to Obamacare.

With Democrats now poised to take control of the House, Mr. Cummings will likely be in a position as chairman to issue those subpoenas on his own.

The Maryland Democrat is just one of the committee chairmen likely to force new battles with President Trump, sending him and his aides scrambling to fight or comply.

The White House said Tuesday it hoped Democrats would forget the investigations and try to find common ground with a president willing to work on shared priorities.

Fat chance, said Democrats who’ve been itching for chairman’s gavels for years.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in line to become speaker, said while there is common ground on infrastructure and cutting the cost of prescription drugs, the investigations will commence.

She told PBS her troops will “certainly honor our responsibility as oversight of the executive branch.”

Here are areas Democrats have already telegraphed for investigations.

Troops at the border
Mr. Trump’s decision last month to order thousands of active duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border will be an early focus, with the mission remaining shrouded in confusion. Democrats who will chair committees sent an early warning last week with a letter to the Pentagon demanding answers on the current plans and the expected cost.

FBI headquarters
Democrats suspect funny business behind the Trump administration’s move to cancel the relocation of the FBI’s headquarters from its current location on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington, D.C. Top Democrats said they believe Mr. Trump is trying to keep that prime Washington real estate occupied by the FBI to prevent anyone from developing the site into a business that could compete with the Trump International Hotel, just down the block.

2020 census citizenship question
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Maryland Democrat in line to win the chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee, has already asked the panel to subpoena the Commerce Secretary to testify under oath about his decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Democrats say they believe he lied about his reasoning in past testimony.

Russian meddling
Under Democrats, the House intelligence committee’s investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election could shift from probing the FBI’s decision-making to taking a closer look at what the Trump team was doing. Expect the panel to revisit witnesses who either already appeared before the panel or refused to answer questions during their earlier appearances, including Trump advisers Roger Stone, Hope Hicks, Corey Lewandowski, Steve Bannon and Donald Trump Jr.

Democrats have questioned nearly every move the administration has made on Obamacare — and they’re likely to probe all of them, from relaxing the mandate for full contraceptive coverage to granting states more leeway on Medicaid enrollment.

Family separations
The disastrous zero-tolerance border policy led to the separation of thousands of illegal immigrant children from their parents, who were jailed for jumping the border. Democrats say there are plenty of unanswered questions — and, months later, some children who still remain separated.

Democrats have been desperate to see Mr. Trump’s tax returns. Armed with subpoena power, they may finally find a way to pry the information loose.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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