The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1370612
Posted By: Amos
03-Jan-05 - 11:31 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
House G.O.P. Voids Rule It Adopted Shielding Leader

Published: January 4, 2005

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 - Stung by criticism that they were lowering ethical standards, House Republicans on Monday night reversed a rule change that would have allowed a party leader to retain his position even if indicted.

Lawmakers and House officials said Republicans, meeting behind the closed doors of the House chamber, acted at the request of the majority leader, Representative Tom DeLay, who had been the intended beneficiary of the rule change.
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When they adopted the change in their party rules in November, Republicans said they feared that Mr. DeLay could be subjected to a politically motivated indictment as part of a campaign finance investigation in Texas that has resulted in charges against three of his associates. The decision, coupled with other Republican proposals to rewrite the ethics rules, drew fierce criticism from Democrats and watchdogs outside the government, who said the Republican majority was subverting ethics enforcement.

Those attending the Republican meeting, which was held on the eve of the opening of the 109th Congress, said Republicans unanimously agreed to restore the old rule after Mr. DeLay told them that the move would clear the air and deny Democrats a potent political issue. In the past year, he has been admonished by the ethics panel three times: for his tactics in trying to persuade a colleague to support the Medicare drug bill, for appearing to link political donations to support for legislation and for involving a federal agency in a political matter in Texas.

Some Republicans who originally opposed the rules change greeted the decision not to go through with it enthusiastically.

"It allows the Republicans to focus on the issues, the agenda that is before us and not to have Tom DeLay be the issue," Representative Zach Wamp, Republican of Tennessee, said. "I feel like we have just taken a shower."

Excerpted from the NY Times:

Of course, to really notice that you have taken a shower, you have to have been carrying some heavy dirt around beforehand...