Congressmen Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Paul Hodes (D-NH) today expressed disappointment in the House Ethics Committee's refusal to detail basic facts, such as how many witnesses were interviewed and subpoenas issued, regarding their investigation of the PMA Group.
"I asked the Ethics Committee to provide basic details about their PMA investigation in the hope that more information would give House Members and the public more confidence in the Committee's work," said Flake. "Unfortunately, their refusal to provide even basic facts, like how many subpoenas were issued during the course of the investigation, has had the opposite effect."
"Given that the Committee's PMA report conceded that there is a widespread perception of a quid pro quo between earmarks and campaign contributions, it was particularly troubling that the Committee would assert that it does not have jurisdiction to institute changes in House practices. Let's not forget that the Ethics Committee's real name is the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. If the Committee won't even set a minimum standard for House practices, who will?"
"There are still far too many questions about the alleged pay-for-play earmark scheme involving Members of Congress and Washington lobbyists," said Hodes. "It is simply unacceptable that we still do not know whether these very serious allegations were investigated to the fullest. We need to hold politicians feet to the fire and hold them accountable for how they spend our tax dollars."
In view of the House Ethics Committee's refusal to shed light on their PMA investigation, Congressman Flake and Congressman Paul Hodes will ask the Office of Congressional Ethics to publicly release the 200,000 pages of documents they turned over to the Ethics Committee as part of their PMA investigation. Congressmen Flake and Hodes believe the release of these documents would spur the House to change its rules governing the appropriateness of awarding earmarks to campaign contributors.