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

    Yeah, right. So he got heat, and offered up an insincere apology. Wait until the next time...

    March 7, 2014 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  2. WAHEID

    If Issa really wanted to do a better job, he would resign. It is people like Issa who gives politicians a bad name.

    March 7, 2014 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Issa has spent million of tax payer dollars on his personal witch hunts. What he did at the hearing? was inexcusable and he should no longer be chairman. After promising to get Obama, he has nothing. He knows better, but will certainly get big campaign donations from RWNJs.

    March 7, 2014 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  4. Say What?

    Mr. Issa needs to be kicked for office.

    March 7, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    This idiot wastes your dollar. Issa needs to go.

    March 7, 2014 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  6. OrmondGeorge

    Issa needs to apologize to America
    AND,
    In his apology to us, he needs to change his behavior. Otherwise, his apology will be little more than empty words.

    March 7, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  7. longtooth

    Issa is the Joe McCarthy of our time.

    March 7, 2014 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  8. nc_mike

    Issa needs to apologize the American people for abusing his congressional chairmanship for political grandstanding!!!!!

    March 7, 2014 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  9. t

    .....Issa..........the GOP way, MY way...........never your way...................

    March 7, 2014 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- CPAC(Crazy Pitchfork Apocolyptic Covenant)

    I guess Speaker Boehner told you to get on top of this and apologize before you lose your chairmanship. You should be stripped of it regardless for wasting taxpayer dollars and not fully investigating these so called "scandals." Mr. Issa has an ethical issue. And that is not the type of person who needs to be chairman of the oversight committee.

    March 7, 2014 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  11. Scott

    Darrell Issa = bully that doesn't like it when he doesn't get his way, or someone fights back.

    March 7, 2014 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  12. carlin123

    Well he did Harry Reid the guy, so I guess he should apologize.

    March 7, 2014 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  13. Gurnicus Blanstonius

    Issa is a demagogue. Another Eugene McCarthy. Another Ken Starr. This guy's allowed to 'float' around and burn up tax payer money like Judge Roy Bean. How abosolutely un-American and disgusting. How can we stop this man??

    March 7, 2014 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  14. Mike

    Why does Republicans like making the cut neck gesture?

    March 7, 2014 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  15. JohnJ

    Issa is lying through his teeth. He's not sorry one bit.

    March 7, 2014 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  16. vandal

    Issa.......what a tool Total waste of good air

    March 7, 2014 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  17. Greatmutato

    Oversight and congressional investigations are necessary in a functioning government. For Issa, endless investigations that are clearly nothing more then political harassment are the sole reason for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. His role as the chairman is merely to exercise a political agenda to create controversy and anger where none are warranted nor necessary.

    March 7, 2014 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  18. Liberal

    Mr. Issa claims he was being slandered, all the while slandering the administration via the IRS. Investigations have proven that both D and R pac's were targeted by the IRS, not just R's. But, any opportunity to make is one sided is taken since the only thing he can be is a victim. He's certainly not in it for solutions or resolutions. Wasting tax payers money on these hearings but crying about debt and deficit. You hold NO CREDIBILITY, Mr. Issa. Another government embarrassment.

    March 7, 2014 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  19. vandal

    Issa.....what a total waste of good air....What a tool

    March 7, 2014 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  20. Oh Brother

    These guys make their living in a democratic government, yet so many of them act like little tyrants. Reminds me of when Gingrich said that anyone who quoted words he actually said was "dishonest." You either need to respect opposing viewpoints, or you need a thicker skin, Issa.

    March 7, 2014 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Issa's apology came hours after the Congressional Black Caucus offered a resolution condemning Issa’s conduct
    -------------------------------------------------
    I don't want to rehash this.
    The picture says it all
    Issa was totally out of line, and out of control with power, as he has been for years.
    He knows exactly what he can do with his apology.

    March 7, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  22. Bewildered by the fact that this guy makes the news

    Issa is sort of the poster boy for the way Republicans like to behave these days. Like a spoiled brat combined with a thug. I really don't know why people vote for people who just want to hate. Nothing of any worth has ever been done by this guy in congress, why is he even on the committee let alone in charge of I?

    March 7, 2014 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  23. mat

    Dems don't believe in truth or justice. Go PUTIN!!!!

    March 7, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  24. sam

    Issa like most Teapublican are pure criminal. Time to take this thug out.

    March 7, 2014 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  25. Droppo

    Now Issa can apologize for wasting all this time searching for scandals to use as political attacks against his president. The IRS thing was cleared as far as scandal goes many months ago. It was a matter of mismanagement and foolish decision making, not a politically related effort to abuse power. A more realistic abuse of power would be Issa's actions as head of the House oversight committee. He said he wouldn't do this when he got the position and that lasted about... five minutes.

    March 7, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
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