Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) — the man Democrats chose to go toe-to-toe with incoming House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) — is making the rounds on cable news and showing off the aggressive style that helped him win the spot.
Cummings said that he expects to see the tougher version of Issa — in other words, not the Issa who walked back his harshest statements and said he wanted to work with the administration — and said his staff is ready for an “avalanche of subpoenas coming out and all kinds of inquires” similar to what happened during the Clinton administration.
“Even when he said he was walking it back the other day he said that he wasn’t accusing the president of being corrupt, one of the most corrupt in the history of the country but then he said that he was accusing the administration, which I think is worse,” Cummings said. “I think he’s then accusing everybody in the administration. I think it’s just so unfair.”
“We on the Democratic side are holding this administration to a high standard ourselves, and so what we want is fairness. We want the American people to see the total picture, not just a part of the picture,” Cummings continued.
He also indicated Democrats could be open to probing the dismissal of the New Black Panther Party case; Issa has indicated any such investigation would fall to the Judiciary Committee. But Cummings said he thinks that the Oversight Committee needs to focus on the big issues.
“I just left my district this morning, and I saw people who came to me saying, ‘Look, I need a job.’ I just dealt with — I just helped my fifth foreclosure progression process, many of them with tears, losing their houses. You know, the Black Panther issue is something we might want to address at some point,” Cummings said. “And the other issue is something we may want to address, but Issa, he’s going to have to back off of those and try to address things that are of concern to the American people.”
“We’re going to address the issues as they come, demand fairness, and if we see the witch hunts coming, we’re going to do everything in our power to stop it, period,” Cummings said.
Asked for comment about Cummings, the spokesman for Issa responded to comments Cummings made about letters Issa reportedly sent out to businesses asking which regulations they wanted to have changed.
“Where were all of Cummings’ and the DNC’s outrage and concern when the President had a CEO roundtable a few weeks ago or the potential inclusion of Bill Daley into the Administration for the reported purpose of his relationships with private industry? All Cummings has done is proven that he is either a partisan obstructionist or just a hypocrite,” Issa spokesman Kurt Bardella told TPM. “At least we now know where he stands and what we can expect from him moving forward.”