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 BarrFeds charge five in international ID theft ring targeting military members, veterans The road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces Correctional officers subpoenaed in Epstein investigation: report MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHillicon Valley: Court delays ruling against Qualcomm | Google asks employees not to talk politics at work | Facebook releases early emails discussing Cambridge Analytica | Bannon to release anti-Huawei film Bannon to release anti-Huawei film 'Claws of the Red Dragon' Trump administration announces deal to avert tariffs on Mexican tomatoes 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.


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 CummingsGOP Oversight report says Interior head met with group tied to former clients Nadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision Nikki Haley voices 'complete support' for Pence 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 MeadowsRepublicans suffer whiplash from Trump's erratic week Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Ben Shapiro: No prominent GOP figure ever questioned Obama's legitimacy MORE (R-N.C.).

Former Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzHouse Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke GOP senators decline to criticize Acosta after new Epstein charges 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.