The incoming congressman for California's 50th District said Harris has no record of bipartisanship and is ill equipped to be a liaison to Capitol Hill in the way that Joe Biden was a bridge-builder under President Obama.
“She has no track record of effective legislation," Issa told Fox News during new member congressional orientation. "...I don't see her as being a bridge. President Biden will have to be his own bridge. I don't see the vice president as having those skills or desire. I think she's running for president within his doors from day one. It'd be nice to be wrong, but I don't think so.”
"She didn't work with anyone when she got here," said Issa, who pointed out his working relationship with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as a contrast. "... Name a bipartisan bill she did with a Republican."
In 2019 Harris launched her own short-lived presidential bid and was rated the most politically left of all senators, according to a scorecard by GovTrack.
Issa announced in January 2018 he wasn't seeking another term to the 49th Congressional District in San Diego County, which has since flipped Democrat. President Trump nominated the 18-year congressman in September 2018 to lead the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, but he never got confirmed over objections by Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who cited Issa's FBI background check.
Issa, 67, has now mounted a political comeback in the 50th.
"I left to take a position in the administration. And then I was filibustered. So a big part of it was I wasn't ready to retire," Issa said, noting his desire for passing H-1B visa reform. "I'm nowhere close to ready to slow down or retire.”
Issa joined dozens of other "freshman" members in Washington last week for new member orientation. But unlike his 2020 classmates, Issa returns to Congress with his 18-year seniority. That means he's expecting a nice office assignment with a view of the Capitol and a likely return to the committees where he previously made a mark.
The former chairman of the House Oversight Committee who famously led high-profile investigations into the Benghazi attacks and the Obama administration's "fast and furious" gun-trafficking operation said returning to Congress in the minority will mean a different kind of oversight.
“The check on the Biden administration is mostly in the court of public opinion," Issa said. "There's no real check in the minority.”
Issa is embracing his senior status in the new class of Republicans and looks forward to offering guidance and leadership when needed.
“I’m recycled," Issa quips. “It’s a very California thing.”