That was a brief tempest on Capitol Hill.
What figured to be a festering sore on Congress has ended with an apology from the chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee to the panel’s ranking minority member.
Now, let’s all get along, shall we?
Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., had the turned the microphone off while ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., had sought to “question” Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who had taken the Fifth while refusing to answer questions relating to the IRS political action committee investigation controversy that just won’t go away. Seems that congressional Republicans continue to smell blood in the water and want to make hay whenever possible.
Issa disrespected Cummings by turning off the mic and then walking out of the hearing room while Cummings was expressing his anger at the way he was being treated.
The House of Representatives the next day rejected a resolution to condemn Issa for his boorishness.
Issa then called Cummings and apologized. Issa said, “As chairman, I should have been much more sensitive to the mood of what was going on, and I take responsibility.” Cummings accepted the apology. Both men said they want to move on.
One way to put this issue behind them — and us — is to stop the incessant questioning of officials when they know they won’t get any answers to a controversy that’s been covered to the nth degree. Issa still appears to be looking for any White House involvement in what’s been determined to have been an IRS field office decision to probe conservative PACs closely in their request for tax-exempt status. Let’s also note that the IRS has done the same thing to liberal PACs.
Cummings was angry at the badgering.
Issa was gentleman enough to apologize.
So, guys, let’s get on with the business of governing.