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Republican Ethics Reversal

Location: Washington, DC

REPUBLICAN ETHICS REVERSAL -- (House of Representatives - May 04, 2005)

(Mr. PALLONE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, the House Republican majority finally did the right thing last week when it restored bipartisan ethics rules. Republicans fortunately caved to public criticism. And now, as the Ethics Committee gets ready to organize, we will see if the Republican majority is really interested in restoring the integrity of this institution.

The new chairman of the Ethics Committee has said that he wants to appoint his chief of staff from his personal office to be the new staff director of the Ethics Committee. This action would defy House rules, which explicitly state that Ethics Committee staffers are to be nonpartisan. The rule is important since the actions of the Ethics Committee are intended to protect the integrity of this institution, not the integrity of an individual Member of either political party.

By appointing a Republican as the main staffer on the Ethics Committee, the Republican majority would undermine any decision that came out of the committee. I would hope that Chairman Hastings would reconsider this political appointment before the Ethics Committee organizes in the coming days.

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