Not much news came out of a House hearing Wednesday examining the ongoing IRS scandal. But it did serve as a good example of a time-honored sport on Capitol Hill: competitive politicking.
The hearing began with Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, sparring with Rep. Darrell Issa, the committee's chairman. They took 15 minutes to bicker over whether Cummings had personally disparaged Issa.
"This is unseemly," Cummings said at the beginning of Wednesday's hearing. "It's embarrassing. It is not a proper way to run an investigation or to spend millions of dollars in taxpayer funds."
Issa wasn't about to take Cummings's comments lying down and proceed to his committee's regular business.
"There are a number of words in the gentleman's statements that disparage me, and I object to his words and debate, and ask that he withdraw or modify them," Issa replied. "The decorum of this committee should not lead to personal attacks as to the intent of individuals on either side."
But those personal attacks, it appears, were not limited to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who was at the hearing to testify in front of the committee. Koskinen—who has testified at least three separate times about Lois Lerner's lost emails—appeared once again on Wednesday to answer what he knew about Lerner's hard drive and when he knew it. Needless to say, not much news came out of his fourth appearance on the topic.