WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. House Thursday rejected a resolution condemning Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., for shutting down a committee hearing without letting any Democrat speak.
Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, proposed the resolution Thursday, a day after Issa, chairman of the Oversight and Government Affairs Committee, held a combative hearing with a former Internal Revenue Service official in the IRS controversy over whether the agency was targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status, the Hill reported.
After former official Lois Lerner refused to answer his questions, Issa ended the hearing without taking any opening comments from Democrats and leaving ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., pleading to be heard as the hearing room emptied. At one point, Issa shut off Cummings' microphone.
The Congressional Black Caucus privileged resolution condemning Issa for the "offensive and disrespectful manner in which [he] conducted the hearing" and for "turn[ing] off the microphones of the ranking member while he was speaking and adjourn[ing] the hearing without a vote or a unanimous consent agreement."
Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., moved to table the resolution, which was approved on a 211-186 vote.
The resolution said Issa's actions Wednesday "part of a continuing pattern in which he has routinely excluded members of the Committee from investigative meetings, and has routinely provided information to the press before sharing it with Committee members."
Besides the CBC privileged resolution, Fudge sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner asking that Issa be removed from his chairmanship. But Boehner defended Issa Thursday morning at his weekly news conference, saying, Issa has "done an effective job as chairman and I support him."
Speaking on MSNBC, Cummings said Issa "forgets sometimes that, quite often, we are left, that is, Democrats, in this committee are left out of the discussions."
He also said he and Issa have a "pretty good relationship" outside of the committee room.