WASHINGTON, April 25 — A House committee voted this afternoon to authorize a subpoena of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as it presses an inquiry into the claims, long since discredited, that Iraq sought uranium from Niger. The vote by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was 21 to 10. All the “yes” votes were cast by Democrats, and all the “no” votes by Republicans. The vote to subpoena Ms. Rice, coupled with a vote by the House Judiciary Committee vote a short time earlier to grant immunity to a former Justice Department official involved in the dismissals of eight United States attorneys, reflect the new power of Democrats as they fulfill their desire to subject the Bush administration to closer scrutiny than it had in the years that Republicans were in control. But the oversight committee chairman, Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, said before the vote that he took no pleasure in authorizing a subpoena against the Secretary of State. “For four years, I have been trying to get information from Condoleezza Rice on a variety of issues, including the reference to uranium and Niger in the president’s 2003 State of the Union speech,” Mr. Waxman said, alluding to the assertion that preceded the American-led military campaign that toppled Saddam Hussein. “In the last seven weeks, I have sent four letters to Secretary Rice and received three responses from her staff,” Mr. Waxman said. “My request is simple. I would like Secretary Rice to suggest a date that would be convenient for her to testify before our committee.” Mr. Waxman said Ms. Rice had already testified on Capitol Hill seven times this year, and that there was “nothing extraordinary” about his panel’s request. “I regret — I deeply regret — that the secretary of state is giving us no choice but to proceed with a subpoena,” he said. There was no immediate response from the White House. But Dana Perino, a spokeswoman for President Bush, said shortly before the vote on subpoenaing Ms. Rice that the administration had been “responsive” to the new Democratic majorities. “I do think that there is a difference between oversight and overreaching,” she said. A State Department spokesman, Tom Casey, said the department would confer with the White House. “The secretary has addressed this four-year-old issue on many occasions, and the subject already has been exhaustively investigated,” Mr. Casey told The Associated Press. Mr. Waxman’s committee also approved subpoenas against the Republican National Committee for testimony and paperwork about White House e-mails on R.N.C. accounts, prompting an immediate and defiant statement from Robert M. Duncan, the national committee chairman.... http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/25/washington/25cnd-subpoena.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin Are they actually going to try and hold people accountable? Could this reach the President?