Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Abuse of Power Not the Imagined Easy-Street

Congressional Republicans again find that abuse of power isn't the easy-street they imagined....from MSNBC a few minutes ago:

GOP ethics chief: Party must undo rule changes House panel chairman calls for change to break deadlock (The Associated Press)

The chairman of the House ethics committee has conceded that his Republican colleagues must reverse partisan changes to investigative rules if they hope to break a deadlock that has virtually shut the panel down, a senior GOP aide said Tuesday.

The conclusion reached by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., may be unpopular with Republicans who muscled the changes through the House in January. Since then, GOP lawmakers have had to defend their votes against accusations by Democrats — and media editorials — that the changes were designed to protect Majority Leader Tom DeLay from further investigation.

The senior Republican aide, who has been involved in discussions on the rules, said he was not authorized to be quoted by name in describing the private discussions.

The ethics committee is one of the few places minority Democrats can assert power in the House because it is equally divided between five Republicans and five Democrats. The Democrats have refused to provide a sixth vote to allow the committee to commence operations, including conducting investigations.

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