The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus is calling for House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to be stripped of his gavel for his behavior at a contentious IRS hearing on Wednesday.
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) told Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday that Issa’s conduct in the hearing — which included cutting off the microphone of Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat — amounted to “an affront to the expectations of the American people.” Fudge also said Issa should apologize on the House floor.
“The American people have the right to expect that their elected leaders be held to the highest possible standards of conduct. Congressional committee leaders are held to an even higher standard due to their unique positions,” Fudge wrote in a letter to Boehner.
“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’s letter comes in the wake of a memorable House Oversight hearing with Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the agency’s targeting controversy. While the Oversight Committee is no stranger to conflict, the hearing turned rowdy even by the committee’s usual standards.
Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment rights before the panel, as she had at a May 2013 hearing.
After Issa had adjourned the hearing, Cummings tried to make a statement, at which point Issa cut off his microphone. Democrats yelled “Shame!”