Press Release ● Congress
For Immediate Release: 
June 9, 2005
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after House Republicans voted down a Democratic Resolution ordering the Ethics Committee to hire non-partisan staff and move forward on pending business:

“Let there be no mistake, Republican Leaders are the one and only obstacle to the House Ethics Committee moving forward, and conducting the important work that ensures the integrity of this institution.  With today’s vote, every House Republican present joined with their Leadership to prevent the Committee from investigating potential Member misconduct.

“For nearly six months, Democrats have fought to organize the Committee in a manner consistent with the bipartisan Ethics agreement of 1997.  But Republicans have thrown up roadblocks the entire time.  Their efforts now to blame us for this impasse are disingenuous attempts to distract from their refusal to follow the established bipartisan rules.

“House Ethics Committee Rules are crystal clear: Staff must be non-partisan and perform their duties in a non-partisan manner.  Without non-partisan staff, the American people will not have faith in the integrity of investigations into Member conduct.

“I hope that Republican leaders will quickly retreat on this issue, as they did earlier this year after they wrongly forced through partisan changes to the Committee rules.  The fact of the matter is, our ethics process in the House is nonexistent today.  It is imperative that House Republicans stand down from their partisan bullheadedness and join Democrats in ensuring that the Ethics Committee can conduct its important bipartisan work.”