Rep. Jason Chaffetz unloaded on the White House and a top Democratic colleague Thursday over the idea that House Republicans should drop their investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups.
“I’m proud of the fact that we are pursuing this. If we did what the White House wanted us to do, if we did what the ranking member suggested we do, this thing would be over. ‘Nothing here!’ ‘Don’t do it!’ ‘As far as I’m concerned it’s over,’ Chaffetz (R-Utah) said during a House Oversight Committee hearing.
Chaffetz was referring to ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) who said last month the IRS case was “solved.”
“When you have the spokesman for the president of the United States make a definitive statement that it was two rogue agents, and start poking at these people who have no power to do anything about it, that is wrong,” Chaffetz continued. “How dare anybody suggest we’re at the end of this? This is the beginning of this. We have to make an example out of it, we need to get to the bottom of it and quite frankly I’m tired of this administration having to keep having these hearings.”
“We’ve done it on Fast and Furious, we’re doing it on Benghazi, we’re doing it on the IRS — why? Each time, there’s a pattern. ‘Nothing here.’ Always ‘just a couple people.’ That’s not true,'” he said.
Chaffetz’ comments drew a response from Cummings attempting to interject, then led to a brief verbal wrestling match over which member had the floor.
Cummings said he had been referring to Republicans accusing the White House of being behind the IRS targeting when he said there was no evidence of that. He insisted he wanted inquiries into the IRS to continue.
“I want us to get to the bottom of that, and I really mean that,” Cummings said.
Watch Chaffetz’ comments below, beginning at the 3:00 mark:
This post has been updated.