Incoming House Oversight Chair Cummings Won’t Share Subpoena Power with GOP

‘I hope that we can have leadership that just doesn’t move to common ground, but move to higher ground…’

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(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said that as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, he would not allow Republicans to wield its subpoena power.

In an interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Cummings said that since Republicans didn’t allow him to use the subpoena power when they were in power, he would not extend that courtesy either.

When asked if he thought Republicans and Democrats should share the responsibility of calling witnesses to testify before the committee, Cummings said: “No.”

“The subpoenas that I wanted to issue would be much different than the ones I’ve seen. I want to issue subpoenas that go to the very heart of our democracy, and protecting that democracy,” Cummings said. “And subpoenas, by the way, that may involve, say, private industries like the pharmaceutical companies that are—with these skyrocketing drug prices. It’s our opportunity. I will consult with them. I will work with them, unlike they did with me. But no.”

Cummings has changed his position on the matter since November, when he vocally stated he was open to the idea “to a certain degree.”

But now, a bipartisan effort isn’t possible, according to Cummings.

“I’m hoping that we will return to a level of civility now,” Cummings said. “I hope that we can have leadership that just doesn’t move to common ground, but move to higher ground, and I plan to lead that way. And one other thing: Our Democratic Party, although we may not have been elected by all the people, we’ve got to govern as if we were.”

Cummings has, however, made clear that he does not want House Democrats to declare war on the Trump administration.

He said earlier this month that the subpoena power should be used as a “method of last resort.”

“I’m not going to be handing out subpoenas like somebody’s handing out candy on Halloween,” Cummings said on ABC. “If I have to use them, they will be used in a methodical way and it must be in the public’s interest.”