When Issa did not agree to reverse his decision, Cummings approached his colleagues on the House Administration Committee, according to a Democratic Oversight aide. The House Administration Committee is responsible for overseeing the allocations and disbursements of all House committee funds, and Lungren was given a “courtesy heads-up” before panel Democrats sent their letter, according to a Democratic aide with the committee. Lungren’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Davis called the House Administration Committee’s involvement both “unusual and unfortunate,” saying he wished the matter could have been handled internally, between Issa and Cummings.
“I think we were looking for clarification about who has oversight over minority’s travel funds,” Davis said today. “I believe we thought it was the ranking member who decided that.”
The House Administration Democrats have asked Issa to respond to a series of questions about his panel’s policies regarding official travel, particularly travel by Democrats, in what appeared to be something of an informal probe.
Jamie Fleet, the staff director for House Administration Democrats, said Issa’s letter tonight fell short of their request.
“His response did not address the specific questions asked by our committee, notably ones on his own similar use of official funds,” Fleet wrote in an email. “Most importantly, Chairman Issa failed to guarantee the core principle of Minority rights and full control of one-third of the Committee’s budget as promised in his testimony to the House Administration Committee.”
Should this issue not resolve itself, Issa could be challenged early next year, when all chairmen and ranking members of House committees are required to testify before the House Administration Committee to provide updates on how they spend their budgets.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.