Dems hold up pictures on House floor to protest Issa

Democrats on Thursday held up iPads with pictures of House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) as they forced a vote on a resolution that would have reprimanded him for his behavior at a recent IRS oversight hearing.

For the second time in two weeks, the House rejected the resolution. But before it went down, Democrats staged an unusual protest on the House floor.

As Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) offered the resolution, dozens of Democrats held up pictures of Issa on paper and on their mobile devices. Presiding officer Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) insisted that Democrats stop displaying the pictures.

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"Regular order would be putting the iPads down," Simpson said to the grumbling of Democrats. He said Kildee could not proceed until there is "decorum in the House." When pressed for an explanation, Simpson said "members are not allowed to stage an exhibition."

Once the pictures were dropped, Kildee read out the resolution, which recounted last week's incident at the hearing.

At the hearing, Issa asked several questions of former IRS official Lois Lerner, who declined to answer and pleaded the Fifth Amendment. Issa then closed the hearing, and didn't allow ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) to speak or ask questions before cutting his microphone.

The resolution that failed said the House "strongly condemns" Issa's actions, and "requires that he come to the well of the House to issue a public apology to the members of the House."

The resolution also noted that former Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) apologized on the House floor after calling the police on Democrats more than a decade ago.

But just like last week, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) moved to table the resolution, and that move was upheld in a 217-173 vote. One Democrat voted with Republicans, and just like last week, six Republicans and four Democrats voted "present," including Issa himself.

Last week, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) proposed a resolution that said the House condemns Issa's "offensive and disrespectful" behavior, and said those actions are part of a pattern of abuse against Democrats. The House tabled that resolution 211-186.