Thursday, November 18, 2004

GOP tosses ethics rule so DeLay can keep post

Washington -- House Republicans adopted a rule change Wednesday that would allow their powerful majority leader, Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, to keep his post if he is indicted on state corruption charges stemming from a fund-raising scandal that has already involved three of his associates.

Democrats led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco -- who was unanimously re-elected to her post Wednesday -- assailed the Republican action as hypocritical and arrogant.

The Republicans made the change after debating it for hours in a closed- door session Wednesday morning. Members said several GOP lawmakers objected to the change......

....The original rule was adopted by Republicans in 1993 when they were the minority party attacking the Democratic-controlled leadership as corrupt and arrogant. The rule required House GOP leaders to step aside if indicted for a crime that could bring a sentence of at least two years in state or federal prison.
The new rule, proposed by Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-Texas, empowers the House Republican Steering Committee to decide within 30 days of a felony indictment whether to recommend to the full membership whether an affected member would have to leave a leadership post. ..... Read entire article


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