Thursday, December 30, 2004

How Dare you Slap his Wrist

Even the mildest form of sanction against the House's main Capo is too much for the majority of the GOP House.

It took less than a decade for the GOP to match the worst of the abuses that occurred in 60 years of Democratic Control of the House, now it appears they are ready to match the Politburo.

Can matching the "Committee of Public Safety" be far behind?

It appears not.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert is leaning toward removing the House ethics committee chairman, who admonished House Majority Leader Tom DeLay this fall and has said he will treat DeLay like any other member, several Republican aides said yesterday.

Although Hastert (Ill.) has not made a decision, the expectation among leadership aides is that the chairman, Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), long at odds with party leaders because of his independence, will be replaced when Congress convenes next week.

The aides said a likely replacement is Rep. Lamar S. Smith, one of DeLay's fellow Texans, who held the job from 1999 to 2001. Smith wrote a check this year to DeLay's defense fund. An aide said Smith was favored for his knowledge of committee procedure.



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