Issa apologizes to Cummings

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) apologized Thursday to his committee's ranking Democratic member for cutting off his microphone at the end of a hearing Wednesday, according to a local report.

Issa told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he personally apologized to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). His apology comes after the House earlier Thursday voted down a motion to censure the chairman for his treatment of Cummings.

Issa ended a hearing on the IRS scandal Wednesday despite Cummings's attempt to make a statement and ask a question. When Cummings persisted in his effort to speak, Issa personally cut off his microphone. Cummings wound up yelling so that he could be heard, saying, "I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America. I am tired of this."

Issa admitted fault Thursday, after the Congressional Black Caucus, of which Cummings is a member, called for his removal as chairman of his committee.

"I could have offered to reopen the hearing and allowed him to make a second statement,” Issa told the Union-Tribune. “As chairman, I should have been much more sensitive to the mood of what was going on, and I take responsibility."

Appearing on CNN on Thursday night, Cummings said Issa's behavior was unacceptable.

"You cannot have a situation where the minority is silenced … and prevent it from speaking one syllable," Cummings said. "That's what Issa was trying to do: preventing the minority from speaking one syllable at a hearing."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
Show Comments

Get Read In in your inbox

Sign up for the morning tip sheet on politics.

Most Read Politics
Next Story
Sean Sullivan · March 6, 2014