Top Oversight Dem: I won't give subpoena rights to Republicans

Top Oversight Dem: I won't give subpoena rights to Republicans
© Camille Fine

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who is expected to become chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in January, said Sunday that his Republican counterparts on the panel won't have subpoena rights.

Cummings, who hasn't had subpoena power while serving as ranking minority member on the committee, added Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he plans to work with Republicans.

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"It’s our opportunity. I will consult with them, I will work with them — unlike they did with me — but no," he said of giving Republicans subpoena power.

He added, however, that he's hoping Democrats and Republicans can "return to a level of civility" in the next Congress. 

"I hope that we can have leadership that just doesn’t move to common ground, but move to higher ground," he said.

Cummings also said that he plans to issue subpoenas in investigations that go to "the very heart of our democracy," though he added that he won't use them excessively.

He said he will subpoena Trump administration officials and investigate areas other than the White House, such as the pharmaceutical industry. 

"The subpoenas that I want to issue would be much different than ones I have seen. I want to issue subpoenas that go to the very heart of our democracy and protecting that democracy," he said.