House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa (R-CA) is in the sights of the Congressional Black Caucus. On Thursday they demanded Issa be stripped of his chairmanship. “Mr. Issa is a disgrace and should not be allowed to continue in a leadership role,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge, the Ohio Democrat who heads the caucus, in a letter sent to House Majority Leader John Boehner.
She went to write, “We strongly encourage you to take disciplinary action against Mr. Issa and force him to present himself before the American people on the House floor with an apology,” offering a resolution condemning Issa for his “offensive and disrespectful manner.”
The GOP-controlled House blocked it on a 211-186 vote.
Boehner retorted, “Darrell Issa is the chairman. He’s done an effective job as chairman, and I support him”.
Issa, abruptly adjourned the hearing on Wednesday to provide a forum for Lois Learner, the disgraced IRS official, to testify. For the second time she refused to answer questions under her Fifth Amendment.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), the ranking Democrat on the committee and a member of the caucus angrily protested the adjournment and demanded to ask a question. He then went into a long long diatribe of how unfair the committee was, etc.
Issa told the San Diego Union Tribune Thursday that he had personally apologized to Cummings. “I should have been much more sensitive to the mood of what was going on, and I take responsibility”
He later told Megan Kelly of Fox News he “was simply following procedures. I broke no rules.” He also said Cummings was having a “hissy fit” after he adjourned the proceedings.
Issa said Cummings had asked him before the meeting if he could make a statement. The chairman told him no, it would be a hearing of continuation for the one held nine months earlier in which members had made statements already.
He added that the diatribe later seemed to be “what appeared to be a pre-staged event” saying he had a right to talk.
Lois Lerner headed the IRS division that improperly targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny in their applications for tax-exempt status from 2010 to 2012. When she once again refused to testify, Issa adjourned the hearing and Cummings protested.
Issa ordered that his microphone be turned off. He then left the room.
Cummings told the Washington Post on Thursday that several GOP committee members had apologized to him for Issa’s conduct.