Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Accountability wins a round

Score one for ethical government.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., pushed his Republican colleagues today to reverse GOP rules changes that had gridlocked the House Ethics Committee. Tonight, by an overwhelming 406-20 vote, the House deleted the provisions that would have forced the committee, composed of five Democrats and five Republicans, to dismiss cases that didn't receive a majority vote to proceed.

The changes came in January as part of a GOP effort to protect House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who received three ethics admonishments last year and who has developed a real taste for warning judges about repercussions for their decisions. Now that the rules yet again forbid one party from blocking ethics investigations unilaterally, the committee's investigation of DeLay can proceed, as well as examinations of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic House members.

More accountability from elected officials can't be a bad thing.

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