Da Hammer and the GOP zealotry in CoCo Congress are in for some criticism over trying to relax ethics rules. Aw, don't we feel for them?
After a summary of the Republican plans became public on Thursday, officials of the organizations said the changes appeared to represent a step backward and could cripple the ethics panel in efforts to hold lawmakers accountable for suspect conduct.
"We think this sends a message that there are no consequences for unethical behavior," said Mary Boyle, a spokeswoman for Common Cause, part of a coalition fighting the proposals.
The changes, drafted partly in response to Republican dissatisfaction with the way ethics complaints against the House majority leader, Tom DeLay of Texas, were resolved earlier this year, are scheduled to be reviewed by Republican House members in a closed meeting on Monday. If the lawmakers approve, the proposals could be presented to the full House for a vote when the new Congress convenes on Tuesday.