11-20-2014 And compared with his predecessor — the colorful and controversial Darrell Issa — he is promising not to let things get too personal as the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Not with the House GOP leadership, other GOP committee chairmen or even his Democratic colleagues — he and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings of Maryland, are friendly.
Chaffetz said in an interview on Wednesday that he would focus on how to fix the Secret Service, embassy security and mundane tasks like U.S. Postal Service reform. Issa, instead, tried to dig up dirt on Benghazi, the administration’s treatment of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service and Attorney General Eric Holder. A series of blunders, misstatements and overreaches damaged his credibility, and he is exiting the post because of term limits for Republican chairmen.
“These tend to be somewhat emotional issues, but you can’t let it get personal. I think that if you proactively reach your hand out and form these [bipartisan] relationships, you can still look them in the eye … even though you vehemently disagree,” Chaffetz said.
Chaffetz said he’s even willing to work with the White House — if the administration would reach out. The Utah Republican noted that as a freshman, he introduced legislation that mirrored a bill sponsored by then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama banning federal contractors from working for the government if they had delinquent tax bills. Chaffetz said he tried to get the White House on board, but didn’t hear back from the administration.