Rep. Issa Furious That Furlough Applies to Him, Too

WASHINGTON – Last week, a judge refused House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa’s request  to exempt his stalled lawsuit from the federal furlough. Issa—a longtime and outspoken critic of the Obama Administration—expressed shock and anger at the ruling, which he called “deeply unfair.”

“You mean the furlough applies to me, too?” said Issa. “There must be some mistake. Does this judge know that I’m a congressman?”

Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson was in fact quite aware of Issa’s congressional status, as she made clear in her ruling:

“[W]hile the vast majority of litigants who now must endure a delay in the progress of their matters do so due to circumstances beyond their control, that cannot be said of the House of Representatives, which has played a role in the shutdown that prompted the stay motion.”

Issa’s Republican colleagues quickly rushed to his defense, arguing that they never intended for the furlough to affect “people like us.”

“Nobody said that the furlough would be easy,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “But I think we can all agree that preventing Rep. Issa from suing Attorney General Eric Holder during the shutdown is just not fair to the American people. It’s the one court proceeding that really matters right now.”

“Sometimes a little leniency is necessary to preserve morale,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). “I’m sure that the American people would sleep easier knowing that, even during the shutdown, a member of congress is still able to pursue a drawn-out, superfluous lawsuit against another federal employee.”

Though Cruz and Boehner continue to support the shutdown, Issa’s opinion has shifted now that he has realized that he is not completely isolated from its effects.

“I thought that the furlough would just mean saving money by holding paychecks and social services from the American people,” said Issa. “If I had known that it would also interrupt my ability to relentlessly pursue Eric Holder, I would never have supported it.”