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Citing a 'new era,' Cummings hosts Chaffetz in Baltimore

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings will host a top Republican from the House Oversight Committee in Baltimore today, but it won't be the committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa.

Calling for a "new era of bipartisanship," Cummings will tour Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah around the city, including for a meeting at the Center for Urban Families and the Sandtown Winchester Senior Center.

Cummings, the top-ranking Democrat on the contentious committee, has had a famously rocky relationship with its chairman, Issa. And Chaffetz is one of a handful of Republicans hoping to succeed Issa when his term on the committee runs out at the end of the year.

Cummings will visit Chaffetz's district later this year, an aide said.

"I'm looking forward to a new era of bipartisan cooperation on issues of critical importance to our nation," Cummings said in a statement. "Each of us was elected to be the voice of our constituents in Congress and we must work together to make sure that our constituents' needs are addressed and our country moves towards a more perfect union."

Cummings will also host Chaffetz for breakfast at Teavolve on Aliceanna Street and the two will lunch with University of Maryland, Baltimore, president Jay A. Perman and Robert Chrencik, president and CEO, University of Maryland Medical System.

How much the effort will pay off should Chaffetz become chairman, of course, remains to be seen. Issa made a similar gesture of goodwill to Cummings early in his tenure, holding his first field hearing in Baltimore in 2011.

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