California Rep. Darrell Issa announced Wednesday he will not seek what would be his 10th term in Congress, making him the second California Republican this week, along with House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce, to call it quits rather than face a possible Democratic wave in this year's midterms.
Issa's influence on Capitol Hill has waned recently, but for four years he chaired the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he earned a reputation as a staunch critic of former President Barack Obama and became a fixture on cable news programs.
As chairman of the committee, Issa was a key player in GOP-led investigations looking at what Obama administration officials knew about such controversial incidents as the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans -- including a U.S. ambassador -- were killed; the IRS targeting of conservative groups; and the "Fast and Furious" gun trafficking scandal.
The latter eventually led to the extraordinary 2012 contempt vote regarding then-Attorney General Eric Holder by the U.S. House. Holder refused to hand over internal Justice Department documents about a botched gun-sting operation in Arizona.