GOP to Reverse Ethics Rule Blocking New DeLay Probe
House Republican leaders, acknowledging that ethics disputes are taking a heavy toll on the party's image, decided yesterday to rescind a controversial rule change that led to the three-month shutdown of the ethics committee...
Republicans touched off a political uproar in January by changing a rule that had required the ethics committee to continue considering a complaint against a House member if there was a deadlock between the committee's five Republicans and five Democrats. The January change reversed this, calling for automatic dismissal of an ethics complaint when a deadlock occurs.
Republicans on the committee say they will launch an investigation of DeLay's handling of overseas trips and gifts as soon as the impasse over the rules is broken. The Washington Post reported last weekend that Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff charged DeLay's airfare to London and Scotland to his American Express card in 2000. House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting travel and related expenses from registered lobbyists.
As Kos notes, this is only one of a string of things that Republicans have caved on recently. He mentions Social Security privatization, which is going nowhere in the Senate; the the Terri Schiavo/Judge-bashing fiasco, and the Nuclear Option power grab, which Sen. Frist keeps putting off as wavering Republicans refuse to commit to a vote.
But you can also throw in the John Bolton nomination to be U.N. ambassador which is for all practical purposes dead in the water after moderate Republicans in the Senate couldn’t be corralled by the party’s leadership.
I certainly hope that these wussy Republicans will buck up and support their illustrious majority leader to the bitter end. I can’t think of a better person to lead a party which has become so corrupted by power that it is constantly finding itself on the opposite side of public opinion. The GOP deserves Tom DeLay.