Issa tries to ‘clear the air’ with Rep. Cummings
March 6th, 2014
11:42 PM ET
6 years ago

Issa tries to ‘clear the air’ with Rep. Cummings

One day after cutting off his Democratic counterpart's microphone, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa telephoned ranking member Elijah Cummings and apologized.

Issa tweeted Thursday evening, "I just wanted to clear the air with @RepCummings." The tweet included a link to a U-T San Diego article in which Issa says he had personally apologized to Cummings.

"I could have offered to reopen the hearing and allowed (Cummings) to make a second statement," Issa told the California paper. "As chairman, I should have been much more sensitive to the mood of what was going on, and I take responsibility."


Issa's apology came hours after the Congressional Black Caucus offered a resolution condemning Issa’s conduct and forced the full House of Representatives to vote on the motion. It was tabled by a 211-186 vote that split down partisan lines.

In response, the Maryland congressman's office released a statement saying he accepted Issa's apology.

"My sincere hope is that as we move forward, we will respect the opinions of all members of the committee, we will proceed in a deliberate and considered manner to obtain the facts, we will refrain from making accusations that have no basis in fact, and we will seek resolution rather than unnecessary conflict," the statement read.

The argument between the two grabbed headlines Wednesday and shifted the spotlight during a hearing that was meant to focus on IRS targeting of conservative groups.Issa called the hearing to again question former IRS manager Lois Lerner and determine if she would answer the committee's questions or again invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

After Issa repeatedly questioned Lerner and she consistently responded by invoking her Fifth Amendment rights, Issa said he was adjourning the hearing. Cumming immediately asked to give a statement and ask a question but Issa told him statements would not be allowed and within minutes had Cummings microphone turned off.

"I am tired of this," Cummings said, visibly upset. "You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that. And it is absolutely un-American."

Issa defended his actions at the time.

"He was talking into a mic in an adjourned meeting. The fact is Mr. Cummings came to make a point of his objections to the process we'd been going through. He was, he was actually slandering me at the moment that the mics did go off by claiming that this had not been a real investigation," he said Wednesday.

However, according to the U-T San Diego report, Issa said that he and Cummings spoke about how they could "do a better job going forward."

– CNN's Lisa Desjardins and Halimah Abdullah contributed to this report.

soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. Lenny Pincus

    What a waste this Issa person is.

    March 7, 2014 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  2. The sad widow

    That said, I think an apology is in order. Kudos.

    March 7, 2014 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Stuff it. I am tired of the race card!!!

    March 7, 2014 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  4. Janalionberger

    These guys are proving to be nothing but bullies they act like children, they all need to be voted out of office and lets get folks that really want to make a difference and help all the people not just what they want Disgusting behavior

    March 7, 2014 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  5. Jim

    Issa is a crook. Having him in charge of a government oversight committee is like having North Korea leading the UN Human Rights group. Total joke. Google him if you are unfamiliar. The irony of a car thief who made millions selling car alarms always strikes me as particularly amusing. The arson is less funny to us firemen.

    March 7, 2014 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  6. pbcalif

    Issa didn't mean it. He doesn't really have a job, just a harassing, meaningless podium.

    March 7, 2014 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  7. Zondar

    Maybe Obama could respond by ordering the IRS to release all of Lerner's emails and other correspondence to the commitee – to really find out if she was acting alone or at the direction of someone else.

    Oh who am I kidding. That will NEVER happen. It's not like our Chief Executive, the leader of the branch responsible for ENFORCING the law, wants to find out if someone BROKE the law in this case.

    Politics and party before duty.

    March 7, 2014 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  8. Chas

    Interesting. I noticed the MSM, including this website, reported little or nothing about the hearing itself where Lerner again pleaded the 5th. Now it is prominently pointing out Issa's apology. CNN's agenda is pretty clear...

    March 7, 2014 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  9. AR

    Issa just wanted to hear the sound of his own voice.

    March 7, 2014 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  10. Proud Independent !

    Issa is a complete Moron ! I am so tired of his act !

    March 7, 2014 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  11. svann

    Damage Control!

    March 7, 2014 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  12. Getoverit

    Why would Issa apologize to the biggest racist bigot in Congress?

    March 7, 2014 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  13. Kg

    Why???? Democrats ignore the voice of Americans on a daily basis.
    These hypocrites will lose big in the mid-terms,

    March 7, 2014 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  14. Tommy Mack

    Issa broke congressional laws with his actions... and we get a "My bad."

    Issa should be in jail for his past anyway, but now he wastes taxpayers dollars on anything he can... and IGNORED them when the white guy was president.

    March 7, 2014 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  15. jewoodbur

    After all these years of hearing of meetings, pronouncements and resolutions, it just hit me. Why is it not racist to have a Congressional Black Caucus? If the white members of Congress did this (Congressional Caucasian Caucaus) , there would be outrage and a national media hue and cry of racism.

    And we wonder why our nation has truly not become color blind when organized racism continues with the CBC, NAACP, LaRasa and Affirmative Action....think about it....

    March 7, 2014 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  16. J.V.Hodgson

    Issa"s behavior was appalling and undemocratic and has no place in our governance neither does this nonsense investigation need to continue AT $14m and counting we need congressional funds spent in amore meaningful way.
    Regards,
    hodgson

    March 7, 2014 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  17. loops808

    CNN should give the IRS hearings the same scrutiny and coverage that they will give to the Christie bridge-gate hearings.

    March 7, 2014 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  18. stevetaller

    So, we can add 'bully' to the list of what defines Darrell Issa that already includes 'criminal', 'creepy', and 'half-smart'. Come on, California. This guy is embarrassing and pathetic. Vote him out.

    March 7, 2014 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  19. barbara451

    Issa keeps hoping his witch hunts will give him credibility. I don't know who he gets his ideas from, but he needs a new handler. Maybe not, let him sink himself in his own slime.

    March 7, 2014 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  20. Brian

    This is a positive sign for politics. We have a inter-partisan conflict that ends without getting hyper sensationalized. It is nice to see an apology followed by the acceptance of the apology.

    March 7, 2014 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  21. barbara451

    Issa keeps hoping his witch hunts will give him credibility. I don't know where he gets his ideas, but he needs a new handler. Maybe not, let him sink himself in his own slime.

    March 7, 2014 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  22. Willllburrrr

    Never should have done it in the first place. Sorry bub, you're toast anyway. CA voters are wising up by the hour.

    March 7, 2014 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  23. Ray

    In bigger news on this whole thing... Lerner didn't discuss anything and is holding back information, yet she's been in discussions with the DOJ trying to save her skin. Pretty sure she'll skate away scot free on this, but I would like an investigation into what was really going on in a larger sense. I would think that both sides don't want to allow targeting of the others groups as when the shoe is on the other foot it could very well bite them as well.

    March 7, 2014 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  24. yerkiddinright

    Idea doesn't like it when it's pointed out that he's investigating a completely made up non-scandal. Reminds him of the California recall election he initiated under false pretenses. But this time Ahnuld can't take away his spotlight.

    March 7, 2014 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  25. Michael

    Wow! This is old news. I would have thought that CNN would have covered this on the day it happened – the day before yesterday. Actually, I'm not surprised. CNN is always reluctant to publish anything that is negative about the whacko segment of the Republican Party unless they present both sides of the controversy so as to make its viewers/readers believe that both sides had equal merit.

    March 7, 2014 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
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