New House Oversight Chair Oversees Redecoration of Hearing Room


Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz seems to disagree.

The Republican from Utah recently took the gavel as head of the House Oversight Committee. One of the first things he did, news reports say, is remove portraits of previous chairmen from the walls of the committee hearing room.

That includes the portrait of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who chaired the committee through December. His portrait had only been on the wall for about two months.

“This has nothing to do with Mr. Issa,” Chaffetz spokeswoman MJ Henshaw tells The Hill newspaper. Chaffetz decided to redecorate, she says, because “he looked around at other Committee rooms and thought that pictures of everyday America are a good reminder of who the Committee serves and what they are trying to accomplish.”

The new chairman has been doing more than removing portraits; he’s been removing people. All 60 committee staffers were told to reapply for their jobs. Only about a third of them were rehired.

Issa is no longer on the Oversight Committee. It’s not clear where his portrait will end up. But Henshaw says half a dozen or so portraits will be hung in committee conference rooms.