Republican Outrages

House Ethics Inquiries to Be Less Likely

For Immediate Release:

January 5, 2005

Contact:Richard Simon

The Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — The House opened the new congressional session Tuesday by voting to make it harder for the ethics committee to initiate investigations of members, as GOP leaders salvaged one key element of a discarded plan for easing ethics standards.

Under the new rule, a majority of the ethics committee's members will have to vote to launch an investigation. Previously, an investigation could proceed even if the committee — with five Republicans and five Democrats — was deadlocked.


For Immediate Release:

January 4, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) today spoke on the House Floor in opposition to Republicans’ weakening of the House’s ethical standards.   The following is Rep. Hoyer’s statement as prepared for delivery:

“Mr. Speaker, the opening day of a new Congress should be one in which the interests of this institution are paramount.  The body of rules we adopt to govern debate, decorum, and the actions of our Members should reflect that.


Rigging the Rules

For Immediate Release:

January 2, 2005


Houston Chronicle

The latest maneuvering on ethics rules by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives and in Austin revises the old homily about how you play the game being more important than whether you win or lose. The new maxim, explicitly designed to protect House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Sugar Land from possible indictments for campaign law violations, can be summarized as follows:

"When in danger of losing, simply rewrite the rules in the middle of the game to make it impossible for the other side to win."

Budget Critics Say Furor Over Tax Provision Highlights Big Flaws in Process

For Immediate Release:

November 25, 2004

Contact:Joseph J. Schatz and Jill Barshay

Congressional Quarterly

The hasty and haphazard completion of nine overdue fiscal 2005 spending bills raised new appeals from lawmakers that Congress figure out a better way to enact its annual budget.

Lawmakers combined the nine appropriations bills into a huge $388.4 billion omnibus in the recently completed lame-duck session — a process that left some lawmakers expressing outrage. The new fiscal year began Oct. 1, and appropriators resorted to creating an omnibus package in an effort to enact the overdue spending bills as quickly as possible.

The Nine Bills at a Glance

House Republicans Act to Protect DeLay

For Immediate Release:

November 18, 2004

Contact:Charles Babington and Helen Dewar

The Washington Post

Emboldened by their election success, House Republicans changed their rules yesterday to allow Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Tex.) to keep his post even if a grand jury indicts him, and Senate GOP leaders continued to weigh changing long-standing rules governing filibusters to prevent Democrats from blocking President Bush's most conservative judicial nominees.

Democrats Blast New GOP Rule

For Immediate Release:

November 18, 2004

Contact:Ben Pershing and Erin P. Billings

Roll Call

House Republicans changed their Conference rules Wednesday to allow indicted party leaders and committee chairmen an opportunity to remain in their posts, even as Democrats moved to toughen their own internal guidelines on the subject.

The GOP rule change was devised as a way to prevent Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) from losing his leadership post if he is indicted by a Texas grand jury in connection with an investigation into corporate donations to state political campaigns.


Hoyer Says House Republicans Refuse to Let House Work Its Will on Omnibus and Other Bills

For Immediate Release:

December 6, 2004

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the House considered legislation directing the Clerk of the House to delete a provision from the Omnibus Appropriations Bill that could have given staff members of the Appropriations Committee broad access to Americans’ tax returns:

“This entire episode is the tip of the iceberg of a much more serious problem that ought to concern the American people: the abuse of power that has now become routine under this Republican House Majority.



Says Republican Abuse of Power Is At Fault, Democratic Objections Will Help Force Vote on 9/11 Legislation

For Immediate Release:

November 24, 2004

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards

WASHINGTON - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer released the following statement today regarding the inclusion of a controversial provision which would have given certain Congressional staff access to taxpayers' tax returns in the massive 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Conference Report:

“This colossal blunder was anticipated. 


Republicans Dig America Deep into Debt

Congress Poised to Raise America's Debt Limit for Third Time in Three Years

For Immediate Release:

November 15, 2004


» Hoyer: Republicans’ Increase of Debt Limit Immoral, November 18, 2004

» View Charts Depicting How Republican Policies Plunged America into Debt prepared by the House Budget Committee Democratic Staff