February 19

In his Feb. 6 Washington Sketch column, “The GOP’s no-fact zone,” Dana Milbank wrongly suggested that breaking news about a Congressional Budget Office report contributed to a decision not to have Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) take questions from Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) or me when he testified this month before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which we oversee. The CBO report played no role in this decision, and e-mails between Democratic and Republican staff from days before the report was issued clearly stated that “no formal questioning” of Mr. Rubio would take place. While the possibility of a “short back and forth” among Mr. Cummings, Mr. Rubio and me was contemplated, when I asked Mr. Cummings on the dais if he had anything for Mr. Rubio before he left, he indicated that he did not and expressed no objection to Mr. Rubio’s dismissal.

A sitting senator delivering testimony and yielding the witness table to experts is a common congressional hearing practice, and no Democratic members of the committee objected to this arrangement. At no point was Mr. Rubio asked to answer questions. Interpreting this chain of events as a conspiracy to avoid questions was unfortunate and wrong.

Darrell Issa, Washington

The writer, a Republican, represents California’s 49th Districtand chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.