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Analysis: Cummings Says IRS Case Resolved, Expresses Concern For NSA Issue

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While Congress continues its investigation into how one IRS office handled certain conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, one local lawmaker is pushing for it to end. Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland is the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee on Government Reform, which is handling the investigation, and he says the IRS case is resolved. He also says he's concerned the National Security Agency's data gathering operations have gone too far. David Hawking, columnist for Hawkings Here for Roll Call talks about Cummings' role in these investigations.

On what influence Rep. Elijah Cummings can have over the direction of the IRS investigation: "He can have ultimately no direct role over extending or limiting the investigation except by using the bully pulpit of the Sunday talk shows to put pressure on his chairman, Daryl Issa. Issa was quick to put out his own statement later in the day saying... I think he called Cummings reckless, saying that the case was solved. Cummings was basing his comment on one interview, as we understand it, with one worker in the Cincinnati office, who he described as a conservative Republican who said in this interview with the committee staff that this was all the idea of the Cincinnati field office. Issa says he's done interviews with people in that same office who says that isn't so, and in fact, there were people in Washington directing this investigation."

On differences between the committee's chairman, Darrell Issa, and Cummings: "It suggests that they've had an uneasy relationship, I would say. Civil, cordial, they've tried to work together. Cummings, in fact, got this job from the Democrats in part because the Democratic leadership thought he could work with Issa in a way that was collaborative... it seems like it's a little bit strained... uneasy, tense, but still we think it hasn't collapsed altogether."

On the NSA data collection programs: "I think what we're going to see as with the IRS case a couple of months ago... these new disclosures about the monitoring of the phone numbers is going to create a wave of Congress in both parties that want an oversight role."

Listen to the full analysis here.

Correction: An earlier version of this story had the headline, 'Issa Says IRS Case Resolved, Expresses Concern For NSA Issue.' The correct headline should be 'Cummings Says IRS Case Resolved, Expresses Concern For NSA Issue.'

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