Congressman Elijah Cummings (D,Md) blew up at IRS (Internal Revenue Service) Committee chair Darrell Issa (R,Ca) today according to ABC News on March 5. Issa would not allow Cummings to ask his question about the investigation of Lois Lerner, a former IRS official who is being investigated for targeting conservative groups. Cummings became persistent in his questioning, but instead ended up in a debate with Issa over procedural questions.
As Cummings' frustration mounted, he accused the IRS Committee itself of hiding things and not allowing substantive questions on the Lerner matter. Cummings stated:
“I don’t care. The fact is I am asking a question. I am the ranking member of this committee and I want to ask a question! What are we hiding? What’s the big deal? May I ask my question? May I make my statement?”
Issa told Cummings to ask his question, but then accused him of making a speech instead of asking a question. Issa then shut the meeting down by saying that the meeting was adjourned. Democrat members of the IRS Committee then hissed and shouted, "Shame, shame." All of the Republican committee members stormed out of the meeting.
However, Cummings did not walk out with the others right away. He stayed back long enough to proclaim the following to Issa and to the other Republican committee members as they were leaving:
“If you will sit down and allow me to ask a question. I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America! I am tired of this! We have members over here each who represent 700,000 people! You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that and this is absolutely un-American."
Darell Issa is the California Congressman who wrote and sponsored the petition to recall Governor Gray Davis (D,Ca) in 2003. Issa became disheartened with the recall process as high profile candidates such as Arnold Schwarzenegger emerged and spoiled his chances of winning the Governor's seat in the recall election.