Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are calling for the removal of Rep. Darrell Issa from the House Oversight Committee over a recent spat with Rep. Elijah Cummings. But, with a possible truce between the the congressmen, does the CBC still want Issa out?
Wednesday, Issa held hearings to investigate alleged misconduct within the IRS. At one point, he deemed a witness to be uncooperative and attempted to end the hearing. That’s when Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, spoke out.
“Mr. Chairman, you cannot run a committee like this. You just cannot do this. We’re better than that as a country, we’re better than that as a committee,” Cummings said.
Instead of allowing his fellow congressman the floor, Issa cut off his microphone. In days since the incident, Issa has said that he has apologized to Cummings. In an appearance on FOX Thursday, however, Issa called Cummings’ interjection “quite a hissy fit.” For his part, Cummings has said he’s accepted the apology.
“This evening, Chairman Issa telephoned me and apologized for his conduct, and I accepted his apology, the Democratic representative said in a statement late Thursday night.
Watch the exchange between Cummings and Issa.
Rep. Marcia Fudge, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, has called for Issa’s removal from the Oversight Committee, however. From theGrio:
In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, Rep. Fudge wrote, “Under the applicable Rules of the House, 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.”
It’s unlikely that Boehner will move to reprimand Issa, who he has given relatively free reign during his tenure.
Still, according to Fudge, “Mr. Issa not only violated House Rules 9 and 23, he also violated the rules of the committee he chairs. According to Oversight & Government Reform Committee Rule 9 and House Rule 11, each member is allowed five minutes to question a witness during a Congressional hearing. Mr. Issa blatantly disregarded this rule when he adjourned the hearing and denied committee members the opportunity to speak in the middle of the customary five minutes afforded to Ranking Member Cummings. Mr. Issa is a disgrace and should not be allowed to continue in a leadership role.” Read more.
There is no word yet whether the CBC will withdraw its request to Boehner that Issa be removed in light of his apology.