Monday, January 03, 2005

Republican Ethics Repeal Act of 2005

Here's what DeLay's goons are planning for tomorrow.

WASHINGTON -- January 3 -- Today, a non-partisan coalition of eight government watchdog groups condemned a new set of proposals under consideration by House Republican leaders that dramatically weakening House ethics rules. The proposed changes, which are scheduled for consideration this week – the opening week of the new Congress – reportedly include:

Dropping a key standard for ethics violations. Currently, it is a violation of House ethics rules to act in such a way that creates the appearance of corruption. The new proposal would eliminate that ethics standard and make only actual criminal behavior or illegal activity a violation of ethics rules.

Deadlocking the ability of the ethics committee to investigate complaints. If the bipartisan House ethics committee ties along party lines whether to conduct an investigation, a complaint automatically triggers an investigation within 45 days. The new proposal would require a majority vote to initiate any investigation.

Punishing members of the ethics committee who scolded Rep. Tom DeLay for ethics transgressions. A few months ago, the bipartisan House ethics committee unanimously voted to admonish Majority leader DeLay for offering his endorsement to a colleague’s son in exchange for a floor vote, for appearing to link campaign donations with legislation, and for diverting Federal Aviation Administration resources to chase after legislators over a partisan squabble. Rep. Joel Hefley, the Republican chair of the ethics committee, and perhaps other Republican members of the committee who voted for the admonishment, are now facing a drive to remove them from the committee.

So, what has the key ethics rule been used for? The WaPo explains:

It has been used to discipline members for taking bribes, fixing parking tickets and having sex with House pages.

So, the House Republicans support a rule change which will let them:

*Take bribes!

*Fix parking tickets!

*Have sex with House pages!