Issa tries to ‘clear the air’ with Rep. Cummings
March 6th, 2014
11:42 PM ET
7 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."

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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. Alan S.

    Why isn't Issa back in Prison where he belongs! Has everyone lost their minds, this guy is a convicted criminal who just got lucky making money at what he knew best, stealing Cars! He hasn't changed, and criminal investigations into his activities have either been stalled or prevented due to pay offs. It just goes to show the the saying "there's a sucker born every minute" is true since he has been voted into office by a bunch of California conservatives without concern for anything but their own personal greed.

    March 7, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. Liberal Iowan

    Darrell Issa. Auto theft, insurance fraud and arson.

    March 7, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  3. Melba Isom

    Mr. Issa, you need to grow up and learn some manners. You cannot conduct yourself like a bully forever (I think only Christy gets to do that). Plus, think of how many other worthy things we could do with the money you waste in order to try and make yourself look good. Shame on you, makes me wonder who raised you? At this point, nothing he says or does will be taken seriously and as much as I love the San Diego area I know they deserve better representation that you.

    March 7, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  4. The Right Left

    Issa, a car thief and an arsonists should only lead a prison chain gang. GOP keep putting up the worst in our society, hoping the country will turn their way. I hope everyone gets out to vote this November 2014 and show these people that even off year elections are not their winning hope.

    March 7, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  5. LessThanZero

    Rome is burning.

    March 7, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  6. radar8

    Issa makes his living off of witch hunts. He's been holding hearings on every GOP/TP trumped-up charge for years and has almost nothing to show except thousands of wasted hours and millions of wasted dollars. The man is a criminal and we let him disrupt our government .

    March 7, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    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."
    If it's a "so-called scandal", what's Lois Lerner hiding? Obama, on super bowl Sunday, is on record stating that there's "not a smidgen of corruption" in the IRS. Right? She needs to answer the questions.

    March 7, 2014 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  8. g

    Republicans would like to shut off microphones across America for good.Fascist Corporate owned party

    March 7, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  9. Richard

    Issa he is a typical rethuglican bully. We have seen it over and over again from republicans. Why is that a surprise to anyone, especially democrats. They are shills for the rich and will lie and bully anyway they can. Fortunately, they are not smart enough to realize they are the party of rich old has beens and their time of power is slipping away!

    March 7, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    of course Tan Man was not going to allow this new version of Joe McCarthy to be brought down....but maybe he showed some guts and told him to cool it and apologize. Now lets get the committee back in session and see McCarthy's witch hunt exposed for what it is

    March 7, 2014 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  11. ST

    Issa clearing up the air!!!! The air is still polluted. Just wait, he will come up again with Benghazi, Fast & Furious, IRS in a matter of few weeks etc. etc. The recycling is not over yet. Thats what he knows best.

    March 7, 2014 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  12. Hector Slagg

    The basic problem is the Liberal's want to sweep all this under the rug and hope the people don't remember. Kinda like supressing the Press who doesn't report it anyway. The Liberal's may sweep this under the rug but when it comes to jobs the people aren't forgetting.

    March 7, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. Paul

    Issa broke just about every House rule. He continues every day running his committee chair like a dictator. He should be replaced.

    March 7, 2014 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Issa defended his actions at the time."

    No. There is no defense of Issa's actions as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    March 7, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  15. sfeadmin

    Issa is living proof that all republicans are human garbage with no respect for others!

    March 7, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  16. fr114

    Issa, a total disgrace and whoever voted for him needs their head examined.

    March 7, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  17. DH

    There is no there there for the lady who's husband is a very significant behind the scenes repub. Did not know that did you, Repubs in the bubble.
    The Repubs have lost 2 elections as they have zero plans, just NO to EVERYTHING Pres Obama has proposed to move our country forward. Since we see nothing different you will be losing again.

    March 7, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  18. dzerres

    There ought to be some minimum standards to run for national office besides age and US residency. A criminal background check with everything verified and published before an election. Darrell Issa should be in jail not sitting in Congress.

    March 7, 2014 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  19. tom l

    Isn't the real story that Lois Lerner, essentially a government employee, pled the 5th? How is that possible that this is allowed. I can guarantee you that if the roles were reversed the left would be screaming about that; and rightfully so. This is a disgrace. But the left wants to focus on what they want to focus on.

    March 7, 2014 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. Al

    He was not thinking when he disrespected a man who suffered through the civil rights movement and has the respect of the nation. As a used car salesman and con man, you would think he would size up his mark, I mean fellow representatives. This one back fired, he is getting slammed and now wants to play nice. Showed his true colors often and adamantly in the past, can't fix it now. Finally, if you are rude and disrespectful in public and apologize in private you are a coward.

    March 7, 2014 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  21. Tampa Tim

    Lerner's attorney was going to answer questions, but Issa knew that would end his witch hunt, so Darrell closed the hearing.

    March 7, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  22. Peace

    Issa has lost all the respect people had on him. At that age behaving like a Third Grader?. Even nowadays kids at that age, have learnt more how to behave in times of argument. You don't go and shut up the mic because you don't want someone's voice be heard. Suppose there was no mic, could he had gone and shut Cumming's mouth with his hands? This man Issa doesn't deserve to chair anything. He has proved to be hopeless.

    March 7, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. RWB1956

    Now the CBC,NAACP are racist organizations? And I do not think Affirmative Action is a group or organization unto itself. These things have been around for decades. Why are they so scary now?.

    March 7, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    Cummings doesn't DESERVE an apology. His actions were entirely political, and he was obstructing the effort to get at the truth.

    March 7, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. richard hodges

    That guy Issa real jerk. Way to go California for bringing us that knuckle dragger.

    March 7, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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