U.S. News

House Oversight Dems Change Lock On Hearing Room Door After GOP Video

After GOP members of the House oversight committee shot footage for a "campaign style video" in the committee room, Democrats responded by changing the lock on a private door leading in from the Republican suite of offices.

Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) ordered the lock changed after complaining that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) used an unauthorized camera inside the hearing room during a recess. Issa set the footage to "Hit the Road, Jack" and accused Democrats of avoiding a vote to authorize subpoenas in the Countrywide sweetheart mortgage program.

Republicans refused to take the video down from the GOP oversight web site despite repeated requests from Democrats. So the Democrats decided to change the door lock.

"There was a back door to the main hearing room from the Republican offices that had the lock on the inside, not the outside like all the other doors," a committee source e-mailed the Huffington Post. "Therefore the Republicans could walk into the hearing room anytime they wanted to without anyone knowing it.

"Since Rep. Issa has been shooting campaign-style videos in the hearing room (which, according to the House rules the Chairman has control over) we reversed the lock so that all the doors to the hearing room lock the same way. They continue to have full access to the room whenever there is committee business or they reserve the room for a meeting -- just like Democratic members -- but now they can no longer go in whenever they like and make campaign and partisan videos."

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