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 IssaThe Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back Darrell Issa eyes return to Congress Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law MORE (R-Calif.) appeared Wednesday at a committee hearing on whether to hold Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck Supreme Court set to deliver ruling on census citizenship question Trump: 'I think I win the election easier' if Democrats launch impeachment proceedings MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossSupreme Court set to deliver ruling on census citizenship question Darrell Issa eyes return to Congress Apple seeks to exempt products including iPhone from proposed tariffs 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 CummingsThis week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Supreme Court set to deliver ruling on census citizenship question House Oversight Committee to vote on authorizing subpoena for Kellyanne Conway 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 MeadowsDarrell Issa eyes return to Congress Oversight Republicans: 'Hundreds' of migrants in caravans have criminal histories FBI, warned early and often that Manafort file might be fake, used it anyway MORE (R-N.C.).

Former Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzFormer chairman appears at House Oversight contempt debate Republicans spend more than million at Trump properties House Dems seek to make officials feel the pain 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.