"The National Oil Spill Commission continues its investigation into the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill, but the president's panel remains hampered by its inability to compel key witnesses to testify and turn over documents. Senate Republicans blocked a bill to grant the commission subpoena power in July. Now the Senate has gone home once without moving the measure forward.
The House passed the measure with nearly unanimous support in June, by a vote of 420 to 1. But the following month Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) objected to moving it forward, though he said he was just blocking it on behalf of another member of his caucus. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who has led the effort to get the bill passed in the upper chamber, tried to work out a way to get it through as a stand-alone measure before senators departed this week, but that didn't happen. While Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said back in July that the Senate GOP would drop the objection, his spokesman told the Wall Street Journal this week that he had changed his mind; Republicans would again block the measure because they want a 'congressionally appointed panel, not a panel appointed by Mr. Obama that some Republicans view as partisan.'"