House Democrats Want Bribery Probe

For Immediate Release:

February 3, 2004



House Democrats may file an ethics complaint if Republican congressional leaders do not open an investigation into whether bribes were offered to win passage of the Medicare prescription drug bill, a House Democratic leader said on Tuesday.

But Republicans countered that Democrats were trying to "throw mud" and end an unofficial ethics truce between the two parties that has lasted since the late 1990s.

Congressman Urges Vote-Buying Inquiry

Medicare Bill Deliberations Questioned

For Immediate Release:

February 3, 2004

Contact:R. Jeffrey Smith

The Washington Post

A House Democratic leader said yesterday that he plans to press for an investigation by the chamber's ethics committee of alleged Republican vote-buying during deliberations on a new Medicare drug plan last November, threatening to end an informal agreement among lawmakers to refrain from triggering inquiries against one another.

Hoyer Seeks Hastert Intervention

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Monday he will for a third time call on Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to urge the ethics committee to investigate alleged House floor bribery, but if the Republican leader continues to balk, he vowed Democrats will be forced to file a complaint.

Hoyer said he will reach out to Hastert this week to reiterate his request for the Speaker to urge the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to look into whether GOP Members or lobbyists tried to bribe Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.) to change his vote on last November’s Medicare bill.

An End to Ethics Truce?

House Democrats are on the cusp of breaking the seven-year cease-fire with Republicans over filing ethics complaints, sources throughout the Caucus confirm.
Senior aides and Members say a rank-and-file Democrat will file a formal ethics complaint in the coming weeks unless Republicans — most likely Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.) — persuade the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to investigate at least one of several matters they say warrant an inquiry.

Area House Members Urge Parity for Civilian Workers

A group of Washington-area House members plans to introduce a resolution Tuesday that would put the House on record in support of a "pay parity" raise in the upcoming fiscal 2005 budget debate.

The proposed resolution traditionally kicks off a Kabuki-like dance that can last into autumn if Congress decides to increase federal pay more than the president recommends in his budget, which is scheduled for release tomorrow.

Inquiry Sought In House Vote On Drug Plan For Medicare

A leading House Democrat has called on Speaker J. Dennis Hastert to initiate an ethics investigation into accusations of bribery during last November's vote on the new Medicare drug plan, warning that Democrats will conduct their own inquiry if the House leader does not act.

Burying the Bribe

It's been a busy week for political news—the Iowa caucuses, the State of the Union address—making it the ideal moment for the House ethics committee to announce quietly that an investigation into a bribery allegation by Rep. Nick Smith, R-Mich., against the House Republican leadership would have "little to go on."

Hoyer, Ney Praise Voting Reform Funds In FY04 Omnibus

House Minority Whip Hoyer and House Administration Chairman Ney today lauded the passage of the FY04 omnibus appropriations bill for its inclusion of a $1.5 billion earmark to help fund the 2002 Help America Vote Act, which they co-sponsored.

"The money is not completely there, but it's on track," said Ney. To date, the act has received $3 billion of the $3.86 billion originally authorized, prompted by the 2000 presidential election recount debacle.

Hoyer Faults Bush Before State Of Union Speech

For Immediate Release:

January 20, 2004



House Minority Whip Hoyer faulted President Bush today for evaporated budget surpluses, education funding, healthcare issues and an environmental "assault on the air, the water and the land."

Democrats Focus on Jews

For Immediate Release:

January 14, 2004

Contact:Ron Kampeas

Jewish Times

Worried by signs of President Bush's soaring popularity among Jews, Democrats launched a coordinated campaign 18 months ago to win back Jewish votes.

In recent interviews with the JTA, top Democrats who attended the meetings disclosed the secret strategy sessions for the first time.

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