Hoyer: Republicans Continue to Block Bipartisan Ethics Process

For Immediate Release:

April 14, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this afternoon after House Republicans defeated a Democratic effort to create a bipartisan task force to make recommendations to restore public confidence in the House ethics process:

“The ethics process in the House is in complete meltdown, and the responsibility for that lies squarely with the House Republican Majority.

“Earlier this year, the House Republican leadership abandoned the bipartisan ethics rules that were adopted in 1997, and unilaterally imposed new partisan rules that gut the ethics process.  They sacked the former chairman of the Ethics Committee and two other Republican Committee Members who had the temerity to exercise independent judgment on ethics issues.  And they fired top, long-time Committee staffers who believed that their highest duty was upholding the integrity of this institution, not serving as pawns of one political party or the other.

“Today, House Democrats once again offered a Resolution calling on the Speaker to create a bipartisan task force to make recommendations to restore public confidence in the ethics process.  And again, Republicans rejected this Resolution, demonstrating that they are perfectly content with the complete absence of ethics oversight in the House.

“Democrats cannot abide by the fraudulent ethics process that has been imposed by the Republican leadership, with complete disregard for the views of the Members of the Ethics Committee themselves.  We believe it is imperative that the ethics rules that were adopted on a bipartisan basis be reinstated.”

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