Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, during a Breitbart News Daily interview with SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon, was critical of the committee’s direction under his successor, placing much of the blame on then-Speaker John Boehner.
Issa said the House Oversight Committee “did a 180 under John Boehner’s decision of a replacement” after Issa stepped down due to term limits. He said Boehner could have asked him to serve two more years under a term limits waiver, or selected Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who was “ready and had proven that he would do the same that I did, and did very well.”
“Instead, what he did was he held a beauty contest on people who would agree to change to a very bipartisan, get-along Oversight,” said Issa, with Boehner ultimately choosing Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). “And Chaffetz, as good as his word, took down all the chairmen’s portraits, something unheard-of in the history of Congress, and said we’re going another way. He put up pretty pictures of Utah, and he did absolutely nothing in the way of serious oversight.”
It’s only after the Speaker stepped down, and Paul Ryan came in, that there’s been any semblance of oversight, and quite candidly, it was a little late. He’d already terminated every major investigator on my team, kept almost nobody, brought in a whole new team that had no experience.
“Do I blame Jason Chaffetz? No. He wanted the chair. He got it by agreeing to do what the Speaker wanted to do,” he said. “But the legacy is Oversight was dismantled.”
He went on to give Chaffetz credit for recently “trying to resurrect a piece of what we did,” and hoped he would enjoy the continued support of Speaker Ryan because “doing oversight by every committee, not just the special committee for Oversight, is critical. … We have to show leadership, or the American people will have nothing to follow.”
Issa’s new book, Watchdog: The Real Stories Behind the Headlines from the Congressman Who exposed Washington’s Biggest Scandals, is now available from Amazon.com.
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