Ethics: Pelosi faces revolting Dem reps

There was a very good reason (or two) for that House ethics truce! As the Lioness is finding out.

A CQpiece yesterday says her plan (devised by the Capuano task force) for a watered down Office of Public Integrity (as compared with the Lieberman version, that is - Obama had something similar, I think) is meeting organized resistance:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, plans to meet with her caucus Tuesday to help assuage the fears of a sizable group of Democrats who believe that allowing non-members to file complaints will open a floodgate of politically motivated attacks.

Rahmbo isn't happy:

"This affects people's lives, and they don't want [merely] one week to talk about it" before a vote, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois said after a leadership meeting late Monday.

And - the dissidents are coalescing around a counterplan:
53 members...have signed on to an alternative bill introduced by Baron P. Hill, a Democrat from Indiana, who was elected to a fourth, non-consecutive term in November 2006, after a 2004 election loss sidelined him from the 109th Congress.

Hill is pushing an alternative to the rules change Pelosi favors. His bill (HR 1754) would give substantial investigative powers to a panel of 12 former members while limiting to sitting members the authority to file ethics complaints.


Pelosi is not expected to soften her plan, despite the complaints, and even those who back Hill's initiative admit that it will be either difficult or impossible to vote against Capuano's proposal once it is on the House floor.

Sounds just the situation for which our old friend the motion to recommit was tailor-made. (I've not seen much lately about Dem plans to bar MTRs that caused ructions before the recess.)

Still, the important thing is not whether Capuano can be knocked out by Hill, but that, yet again, Pelosi has united a significant proportion of her party against her on an important issue.

House majority leadership control, though entrenched by the rules, is capable of erosion with the repetition of such incidents.

Tags: Baron Hill, Capuano House Ethics Task Force, House Ethics Committee, HR 1754, Office of Public Integrity, Pelosi (all tags)


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