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GOP leaders Ed Royce and Darrell Issa handle Congress very differently.
Published: July 6, 2014 Updated: July 7, 2014 7:22 a.m.

They couldn’t be more different: the stiletto who aims for targeted foreign policy legislation and the sledgehammer who pounds away at big domestic investigations.

Meet Southern California Reps. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa, among the most powerful people in Congress. Each steers an influential committee in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives – Royce at the helm of Foreign Affairs, Issa in charge of Oversight and Government Reform.

“They are oil and water personalities,” said Christopher Deering, professor of political science at George Washington University who specializes in Congress.

Royce’s work helps shape U.S. foreign policy legislation and keeps an eye on diplomatic endeavors, from foreign aid to international broadcasting to treaties. Royce takes on singular causes, too, such as the 275 schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorists Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Marine sergeant who has been sitting in a Mexico jail since March.

He pops up on CNN or Fox News and is known among the Washington press corps as very accessible, yet he is also called “the quiet one.”

Issa uses broad investigative powers to hold the federal government accountable for how it spends taxpayer money and has led the charge to investigate IRS practices regarding tax-exempt political committees and the Benghazi consular attack.

He frequently lands on the nightly news, and conservative media follow him closely.

“I think Ed Royce is a fairly reliable conservative, a pretty good watchdog internationally, and I know he exerts a lot of time and energy in the community,” said Ann Coil, a longtime politics watcher who coordinates Santa Ana’s Tea Party Patriots. “Darrell seems a little more moderate, but I think he’s doing a pretty good job in that IRS investigation.”

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