GOP Reconsiders Ethical Behavior
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
In a closed door session last night, Majority Leader Tom DeLay asked other House Republican leaders to abandon their plans to change House ethics rules. This follows growing indications of dissention within the GOP. Some GOP members believed that the party was sending the wrong message to its constituents.
DeLay has been linked to an investigation into political fundraising in Texas.
The proposals were aimed at weakening the ethical standards to which House members are held accountable. These proposals included more rigidly and narrowly defining the type of accusation that the House Ethics Committee would consider, and the elimination of a rule that required a House member to step down from their post in the even that they were indicted for illegal behavior.
The party has been accused of attempting to protect the well-liked House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. DeLay has been linked to an investigation into political fundraising in Texas. DeLay has already caused a bit of controversy by maintaining that it was legitimate to allow a leader to retain power whilst under indictment.
Representatives felt so strongly that they were compelled to make confusing sports analogies.
There have been growing fears within the Republican Party that rule changes would cause image problems for the party and could effect mid-term elections. Some Representatives felt so strongly that they were compelled to make confusing sports analogies. “It's never a good idea when you're involved in a road race or any other athletic contest to tie your shoelaces together. It's not a good thing to do right out of the gate,'' said Representative J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ).
This move could be foreshadowing a year of horrible infighting between members of the Republican Party. After already fighting a rather bitter battle over intelligence reform, many member of the GOP still have widely differing opinions on issues such as revamping the tax code, limiting liability awards, reforming Social Security and whether to tighten the borders.
Democrats are viewing this change of plans as a double edged sword.
Democrats are viewing this change of plans as a double edged sword. While welcoming the idea of a divided GOP tearing themselves apart like a pack of wolves, many were looking quite forward to the changes. There will be many a lobbyist-paid-for late January vacation cancelled in Washington today.
The rule change was meant to be the highlight of the first day of the 109th Congress, and many Representatives were looking forward to arguing the issue. Instead they will start off with the swearing in of new members and a viewing of Representative Zach Wamp’s (R-TN) stamp collection. "It allows the Republicans to focus on the issues, the agenda that is before us and not to have Tom DeLay be the issue," said Wamp. "I feel like we have just taken a shower."