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by
Bridget Johnson

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March 7, 2014 - 6:52 am

The Congressional Black Caucus has asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to remove Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after Wednesday’s IRS hearing at which Issa cut off the microphone of Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

Caucus chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) also called on Boehner to make Issa publicly apologize to Cummings. Issa called Cummings on Thursday night to privately apologize.

Issa ordered that the microphones be turned off after pressing former IRS official Lois Lerner, who took the Fifth, to answer questions. Cummings wanted to deliver a statement, but Issa refused, saying the hearing was adjourned. “I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America,” Cummings said. “I am tired of this. You cannot conduct a one-sided investigation.”

“Congressman Darrell Issa of California abused his authority and therefore must be reprimanded to ensure the dignity of the House of Representatives is preserved,” Fudge wrote. “On behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus and the people we represent, I urge you to take immediate action to address the recent deplorable conduct of Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.”

Fudge said the CBC wants Boehner to “take immediate action to address the recent deplorable conduct” of Issa.

“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,” she wrote. “Under Rule 9, questions of the privileges of the House are those that affect its rights collectively, its dignity and the integrity of its proceedings. Additionally, according to Rule 23, a member of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House, and shall adhere to the spirit and letter of said Rules, including those established by committees.”

“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.”

The CBC demanded that Boehner “maintain the integrity of this body and remove Mr. Issa as chair of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee immediately.”

Boehner, so far, has been unmoved by the hearing fallout. “From what I understand, I think Mr. Issa was within his rights to adjourn the hearing when he did,” he told reporters on the Hill on Thursday.

Cummings did the media rounds yesterday to complain about Issa’s behavior, as well. After Issa’s call, he issued a statement.

“This evening, Chairman Issa telephoned me and apologized for his conduct, and I accepted his apology,” Cummings said. “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.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Eh. Cummings doesn't speak for me. I shouldn't have to be held responsible for his childish, embarrassing behavior just because I'm black.

That goes for the terrible behavior of the likes of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Cynthia McKinney, etc...

I _do_, however, find it disheartening that so many feel they have to act that way in order to keep their death grip on political relevance.

But I don't subscribe to their philosophies or behaviors, and don't feel like I should be held responsible for them.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I want the black caucus removed from Congress, because it's racist.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The moment we stop caucusing based on skin color, will be the moment that that august body will reflect creditably upon a nation that should be above race baiting and race hucksterism.

The twin false notions that the feigned umbrage is about polity and maintenance of rules is exposed by the fact that the "Black" caucus raised the issue with its harsh words. The offense claimed is not a race issue.

And if the liars and hypocrites were so damned interested in maintaining dignity in follwowing rules, regulations, order and checks and balances they can prove it by issuing their FIRST complaint, heretofore notably absent, about this administration and the Democratic Party's seizure of the government by illegal usurpation and overrides of those very rules, regulations and checks and balances.

Unless and until such an apology is made on the floor of BOTH Houses, from the Oval Office and from EVERY agency that has beshat themselves in foul tyranny... go Fluke yourselves and your phony, race baiting, hypocrisy.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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my buddy's sister makes $69 an hour on the internet . She has been unemployed for eight months but last month her pay check was $13747 just working on the internet for a few hours. Learn More>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://jobdoc.biz/?bo0337
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
The black caucus assumes too much power. If they are to continue getting benefits as a minority, they should become a minority and not expect the country to give in to their demands.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't apologize to racists, ever.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's the CWC's (Congressional White Caucus) position on this matter? Oh wait, never mind........
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Elijah Cummings is shilling for criminal IRS behaviour and is therefore as culpable as Lerner. There may be an uncorrupt member of the Congressional Black Caucus but if so he's keeping a pretty low profile.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
See, rules don't apply if you're black. They're a progressive protected species.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I saw it, too. You're absolutely correct; it was a manufactured stunt. Cummings kept demanding to be allowed to ask a "question", but instead produced a truncated rant about how he thought the committee's investigation amounted to harrassment of poor Lois Lerner and the IRS. I'm paraphrasing, but it was plain where Cummings was coming from (bad pun alert).
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hear that the people in hell want ice water too.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
This rates a big "So what". Outraged democrats are a dime a dozen. If you really want to make news, write an article about a democrat who has just a small shred of credibility. I won't hold my breath waiting for that since you're unlikey to find any.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think we should give them what they *say* that they want. The committee calls Lyin Lois back to the stand, gives every one of the committee members 5 minutes to have her plead the Fifth, and then send her to the Atty. General to be prosecuted for perjury.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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