Local congressman addresses “Fiscal Responsibility”

A San Diego County congressman who took part in President Barack Obama’s “Fiscal Responsibility Summit’’ at the White House Tuesday said waste, fraud and mismanagement in government spending needs to be addressed.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, was one of 29 congressional representatives who took part in the summit, designed to bring together officials in government and private think tanks with varied points of view on how to improve the federal financial scenario.

“Fiscal responsibility must include effective and bipartisan oversight of all federal spending including the $800 billion stimulus, the Wall Street bailout and any other new spending,’' said Issa, the ranking Republican on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“The president’s promise to create unprecedented levels of transparency and to eliminate wasteful spending must not be eclipsed by partisanship in Congress that excludes Republicans,’' Issa said.

Issa took part in a summit session on Defense Department procurement. “For far too long, the bureaucracy has been infected with a mentality that ignores waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement,’' Issa said. “Federal agencies are being asked to absorb an unprecedented level of new funding, and there is no way we can achieve fiscal solvency if we continue to look the other way while hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars go unaccounted for and wasted.’'

At a news conference following the summit, the president said there was a consensus that government officials need to address health care costs, simplify the tax system and overhaul the budget.

Obama also said there was a healthy debate’’ over the future of Social Security.