Cummings villainizes Issa for villainizing people

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, criticized the investigations instituted by incoming committee Chairman Darrell Issa on Tuesday, calling them a “witch hunt” and saying that his efforts were distractions from the real issues.

Cummings attacked the California Republican’s methods, saying that his focus was too narrow.

“When I look at the list of things that he has said he wants to investigate, usually, they are more swayed towards just a part of an issue,” Cummings said, citing the example of the foreclosure issue, which, he said, Issa has boiled down to “just about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Cummings likened such an approach to “witch hunts” that make villains out of specific people or businesses, rather than solving the problems, and referring to “Mr. Issa’s hit list.” He also implied that these proceedings threatened the committee’s integrity, saying, “this has got to be a committee that has credibility.”

Cummings said constituents in his district, where unemployment is at 20 percent, tell him that the issues Issa seeks to investigate are not what they want Congress to be focused on.

“They’re telling me, help me get a job,” he said. “They don’t want these fights, arguing about things that don’t necessarily matter.”