Davis Backs Issa for Top Oversight Seat

Outgoing Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) wants Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to take his spot as the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Davis sent a letter to GOP colleagues calling on them to back Issa on Wednesday. Two Republicans who will remain on the committee and have greater seniority than Issa, Reps. Dan Burton (Ind.) and John Mica (Fla.), have also endorsed him for ranking member.

Davis, in his letter, noted that he relied on Issa to be more aggressive on issues where he wasn't able to be. Davis is retiring after seven terms representing a swing district in Northern Virginia.

Read Davis's letter below.
Dear Colleague:

As you know, this Congress will be my last as I step aside to enter a new phase in my life. This Congress will also be my last as your leader on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. These past six years, four as Chairman of the Committee and two as Ranking Member, have been as memorable as they have been challenging. As I leave Congress, and in particular the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I would like for you to know why I am supporting Darrell Issa as the next Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee is unique in that it has oversight of every government department, agency, and program. The power of the committee isn't in its limited legislative capacity but in its ability to hold people accountable for their actions as they relate to federal agencies and programs. Making sure the Committee is serving the interests of the American public is an awesome responsibility, whether you are Chairman or Ranking Member. As Chairman and Ranking Member ofthe Oversight Committee, I learned to rely heavily on Darrell to help me take on an aggressive Henry Waxman, whether the issue was energy reform, the financial crisis, Iraqi contracting, Valerie Plame, or how to best position the Census Bureau on the upcoming 2010 Decennial Census.

Over the past four years, Darrell has been involved in Oversight and Government Reform as a Subcommittee Chairman and Ranking Member. No matter the issue, big or small, explosive or tame, Darrell was able to successfully partner with me and other Members of the Committee to best represent the views of our conference. More importantly, there were hearings and issues that were brought before the Committee that because of my personal beliefs and how my Congressional District is configured, I came to rely on Darrell Issa to be the face and voice of the Committee Republicans by being the more aggressive interlocutor.

Darrell Issa has what it takes to lead the Committee Republicans in the 111th Congress and beyond. His business acumen is unparalleled in our conference and that translates to understanding the community and their needs. Before coming to Congress, Darrell Issa successfully built and ran a multi-million dollar electronics company, which is now publicly traded. Darrell also was instrumental in the success of the influential Consumer Electronics Association when he served as its Chairman.

Darrell's preparation for hearings was unsurpassed as his understanding of local, national and international issues was an asset to me and all the Republican members of the committee. In fact, I am firmly confident that as leader ofthe Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell will outmaneuver and out work the Democrats. His leadership will serve as a reminder to the Democrats that we have a leader that can go toe-toe with whoever is chairing the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

As a past leader of the National Republican Congressional Committee, I understand what efforts will be needed to wrest control of the Congress from the Democrats. Those efforts include raising money, for which Darrell has a proven record of doing for all us when he chaired this year's NRCC President's Dinner. Darrell is also a forward thinker on issues we take for granted. For instance, he is a leader in making sure we have a fair and accurate 2010 Decennial Census, which if done right could be extremely helpful in regaining Republican seats after redistricting. But most importantly, if we are to take back the House we need to make smart and calculated decisions concerning who will lead us in our Committees, especially one where the Democrats have shown a proclivity to use as an arm of the DCCC.

Darrell Issa is a proven leader, whether it comes to running a company, an association, a Subcommittee and now a Full Committee. I hope you will join me in voicing your support for Darrell's efforts to be the Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Your support for Darrell will ensure the Republican Conference is well positioned to meet the challenges of the Democratic majority and at the same time is poised to retake the House as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Tom Davis

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