As if we needed any more proof, yesterday’s antics by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) demonstrated just how off course the committee has become under his leadership.
Frustrated and angry that former IRS official Lois Lerner was invoking her Fifth Amendment right not to answer his questions during a hearing with the blatantly partisan title “The IRS: Targeting Americans for Their Political Beliefs,” Chairman Issa decided unilaterally to adjourn the session.
When Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sought to speak, Chairman Issa cut him off literally and figuratively – slamming his gavel and silencing the microphones. In the face of Rep. Cummings’ pleas to be heard, Chairman Issa stormed off after making what the Washington Post described as a “throat-slitting gesture” and uttering the words “Close it down.”
Chairman Issa apparently has given up all pretense of searching for the truth, making a mockery of the committee and the oversight process.
In the face of administration excesses and a judiciary that refuses to recognize few, if any, limits on presidential power, we desperately need a Congress that will exercise true oversight. Yesterday Chairman Issa made it quite clear he is not up to that job.
Update 3/7/2014: Rep. Issa has now issued a tepid apology to Rep. Cummings for his behavior. Regardless, that does not excuse his blatant misuse of a congressional committee as a platform for partisan political stunts.
gif by @CharlieSpiering
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