Monday, January 03, 2005

Congressmen do the right thing

I know, I can hardly believe it either, but it's true. Congressional Republicans voted tonight to reverse a rules change that would have allowed party leaders to keep their posts even if they were indicted on felony charges. The rules change came in November as a move to protect House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who received two admonishments from the House Ethics Committee last year and is at the center of a criminal investigation that has led to the indictments of three of his associates on money-laundering charges.

DeLay and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., led the move to vacate the new indictment rule after facing intense public scrutiny and criticism. The Associated Press reports that Republican leaders did, however, change the rules to "make it easier for one party to block a House Ethics Committee investigation of a congressman." As you may remember, I've already had my say on that subject.

Despite the rules change that will allow either party to obstruct an ethics investigation of one of its members, I commend the GOP for reversing course and reinstating the original indictment rule. Maybe there's some hope for ethical government after all.

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