Former chairman appears at House Oversight contempt debate

Former chairman appears at House Oversight contempt debate
© Greg Nash

Former House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaDCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to 'Red to Blue' program Wife of former Rep. Duncan Hunter sentenced to 8 months of home confinement Harris endorses Democrat in tight California House race MORE (R-Calif.) appeared Wednesday at a committee hearing on whether to hold Attorney General William BarrBill BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy Sunday shows - Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death dominates What Attorney General Barr really said about justice MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossTrump 'very happy' to allow TikTok to operate in US if security concerns resolved TikTok, WeChat to be banned Sunday from US app stores The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill MORE in contempt.

Issa, who retired from Congress this year, sat in the front row of the proceedings, offering a moment of levity to a sometimes contentious back-and-forth between Republicans and Democrats on the panel.

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He laughed and joked along as lawmakers discussed his return to the chamber where he used to lead the panel, then called the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The committee's current chairman, Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBlack GOP candidate accuses Behar of wearing black face in heated interview Overnight Health Care: US won't join global coronavirus vaccine initiative | Federal panel lays out initial priorities for COVID-19 vaccine distribution | NIH panel: 'Insufficient data' to show treatment touted by Trump works House Oversight Democrats to subpoena AbbVie in drug pricing probe MORE (D-Md.), welcomed Issa back.

"We're very pleased to have our distinguished former chairman in the room," Cummings said to some cheers.

"Let me make it clear, when I became chairman I said 'Let's make sure the portraits go up,' it's out of respect," he continued. "Mr. Issa and I went toe-to-toe quite a bit, but when all the dust settled I have a lot of respect for him ... taught me a lot and I'm sure I taught him a lot of things too"

"We wish he hadn't taught you quite so well," joked Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsSouthwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid Airline CEOs plead with Washington as layoffs loom Trump reacts to Ginsburg's death: 'An amazing woman who led an amazing life' MORE (R-N.C.).

Former Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzThe myth of the conservative bestseller Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records MORE (R-Utah) reportedly removed portraits of Issa and other past chairmen from the walls of the Oversight Committee hearing room when he assumed the committee leadership role in 2015.