Frustration with Democrats unwilling to challenge the administration and support even basic oversight of the executive branch boiled over Thursday when a Michigan lawmaker cited his son's flash cards that demand Congress “fight for their legislative standing, their constitutional standing.”

At a House Financial Services Committee hearing to debate his bill requiring the Federal Reserve be more transparent in its financial moves, Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga decried those who have given up providing a check on the administration.

“I cannot figure out why so many of my colleagues are willing to hand over their constitutional standing, I would argue their constitutional duty, to fulfill oversight responsibility,” he said.

With his smartphone in hand, Huizenga Googled “oversight” to show that it is a key congressional job.

Reading from Wikipedia, he said, “Congressional oversight refers to oversight by the United States Congress on the Executive Branch, including the numerous U.S. federal agencies. Congressional oversight refers to the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs, activities, and policy implementation. Congress exercises this power largely through its congressional committee system.”

Then he cited his son’s flash cards. “My son Garrett just got done with AP Government. So guess what, I went to the AP Government flash cards on oversight and they say roughly the same thing.”

Looking over at the Democratic bench, he concluded, “What I can't figure out is why my colleagues here are willing, day in and day out, to hand the responsibility of oversight over to the administration regardless of whether there is a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ behind it. What happened to the people that are going to go and fight for their legislative standing, their constitutional standing? I don't understand this.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at