Sept. 21, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Issa Finds Unlikely Role Model: Waxman

Democrats on the panel say they don’t think Issa’s aggressive tactics leave Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) looking like he doesn’t control the committee.

“I have no doubt that Ed Towns, who’s a very astute politician and who has been doing politics for a long time, who has been a Member of the House for a long time, knows how to handle his committee, including the ranking member,” Davis said.

Towns may be “a little bit more laid-back” than Issa, Davis said, but “I don’t know how you could come out of New York and not have the political fire that you need to have when you need to have it.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Issa “exploits his position for political purposes” since Waxman, as ranking member, did the same thing.

But even though Issa is “a flashy guy” with a political agenda, Connolly said, the Californian cuts down on the posturing when Towns needs him to.

“At times, Ed reins Darrell in, as he wants to be seen as supportive,” Connolly said. “I’ve seen Issa be very respectful, even when he disagrees, to allow the committee process to continue to work. I credit him on his relationship with Towns.”

Issa said he has maintained a good relationship with Towns and acknowledged that his approach is far less brash than his predecessor’s.

“When Waxman was [chairman] ... he was a nasty, mean, pain in the ass, asserting power in an unreasonable way — and that’s just what the Democrats say,” Issa said. “But when he was in the minority, he really did write the book on getting Tom Davis to do his job better, to have hearings and oversight on things he might not have, to point out the failures of the [Bush] administration and others, and I think that’s an important role.”

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