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Issa Blocks Cummings From Making Case Against JPMorgan At Start Of Foreclosure Hearing

WASHINGTON - House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa's investigation into the foreclosure crisis is off to a rough start. On Wednesday, the ranking Democrat on the oversight panel, Elijah Cummings (Md.), planned to use his opening statement to charge Issa with blocking the summoning of a witness from JPMorgan Chase to explain the bank's role in alleged foreclosure fraud.

Cummings never got the chance. In a move that diverged radically from congressional custom, Issa (Calif.) refused to allow the ranking Democrat to offer his statement, deciding instead to bar all opening statements from the assembled committee members, himself included.

"I know the tradition is that we hold the witnesses here for sometimes an hour through opening statements," Issa said Wednesday. "That is a tradition that I intend to break."


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