Rep. Elijah Cummings wants to rein in Darrell Issa’s subpoena power

Jonathan Strong
The Daily Caller
1/24/2011

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the combative foil to top GOP oversight official Rep. Darrell Issa, is making his first significant power move to cut Issa down to size, demanding authority to stop Issa from issuing congressional subpoenas “unilaterally.”

In a Jan. 24 letter, Cummings claims Issa vowed to him privately to aggressively use his subpoena power “more expansively” than past oversight committee chairmen. Congressional subpoena power gives Issa almost unlimited authority to demand documents and compel testimony from the Obama administration.

Now, Cummings is pushing to give Democrats input on which subpoenas Issa issues and force a committee vote on any he disagrees with.

“You stated that you would not bring any subpoenas before the committee for a vote. It is difficult to imagine any case in which you not have sufficient time to seek my concurrence. It is even more difficult to imagine why you would go forward with a subpoena without a committee vote in cases of significant controversy or disagreement,” Cummings says in the letter.

“Given your position, you have left me no choice but to offer an amendment to the committee rules at tomorrow’s business meeting to codify the bipartisan, historical practice of your predecessors,” Cummings says.

For his part, Issa met Cummings’ charge of “unilateral” subpoenas with his own allegation that Cummings wants to employ “unilateral obstructionism.”..

The article continues at The Daily Caller.

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