January 4, 2005

CAESAR'S WIVES:

GOP Backs Off on Ethics Changes (Richard Simon, January 4, 2005, LA Times)

House Republicans on Monday reversed a decision, made less than two months ago, that would have allowed Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas to remain in his leadership post if he was indicted by a grand jury in his home state.

They also backed down from a proposed change that would have made it more difficult to bring ethics complaints against lawmakers. Critics had said the proposal was designed to shield members of Congress from punishment for engaging in the kind of hardball politics that led the House ethics committee to rebuke DeLay last year.

The decision to rescind one controversial rule change and abandon another was seen as an effort to blunt the criticism — from Democrats, congressional watchdog groups and even some Republicans — that has threatened to overshadow the GOP's ambitious agenda for the new, more Republican Congress, which convenes today.


Good politics, even if meaningless.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 4, 2005 9:08 AM
Comments

It's great politics. It sucks the wind right out of the only "issue" the Dems seem to have adopted post-election loss. With that gone, they can proceed to savage the Gonzales nomination and further entrench themselves as the minority party. :)

Posted by: kevin whited at January 4, 2005 9:35 AM

Given Ronnie Earle's track record of being able to easily indict, but rarely being able to convict, any of his high-profile political targets, I would expect DeLay will have to take a temporary leave of absence from the Majority Leader's position, amid tons of media coverage. But he can be back in power fairly quickly if he demands a speedy trial through the Travis County court system, since when the going gets tough, Earle and the DA's office folds like a house of cards (though of course this will get far less media coverage, and to some DeLay will have magically reppeared upon the House leadership scene without any explanation).

Posted by: John at January 4, 2005 11:28 AM
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