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Pallone: Republicans Finally Do the Right Thing in Restoring House Ethics Rules

Location: Washington, DC

April 28, 2005

Washington, D.C. --- U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) will give the following statement on the House floor this afternoon in response to the Republican Majority finally agreeing yesterday to restore strong, bipartisan ethics rules that had been in place since 1997. The New Jersey congressman leads a small group of members who speak out on the House floor about the Republican majority's arrogance and its repeated abuses of power.

"Mr. Speaker, the House Republican Majority finally did the right thing last night when it restored bipartisan ethics rules. In January, the Republican Majority thumbed its nose at the Minority and approved weakened ethics rules along party lines for the sole purpose of protecting one of their leaders. Republican leaders ignored House tradition that all ethics rules be created with both Republicans and Democrats working together. As they have so often over the last couple of years, they simply abused their power and they thought they'd get away with it.

"Last night's vote wasn't held because Republicans wanted to restore strong ethics rules. No, Republicans caved into pressure from the American people and the press, who were outraged by their actions in January. That outrage brought last night's vote. To think that the Republican majority would undermine the integrity of this House to protect one single member of its leadership was an extreme abuse of power, and the American people saw the action for what it was.

"It would be nice if the Republican Majority learned something from their actions---that ignoring the minority does not serve this institution well. Time will tell."

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