House of Pelosi

30 05 2007

Filed under: Murtha, Rogers, Democrats, Republicans, Politics, Pelosi

Via FRC: Democrats last year unseated the Republican Majority in the U. S. House in part by alleging a Republican culture of corruption. New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to transform America with the most ethical Congress this country had ever seen. Five months into her reign, you can add that pledge to a list of broken promises.

First, Pelosi tried to place a man under investigation for corruption, Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), on the Homeland Security Committee. After that debacle, she put Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), who has been accused by the F.B.I. of misusing federal funds, in charge of the committee that oversees the investigative agenda. Now comes word her consigliere, Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn.), has used his position to break the rules in securing millions of taxpayer dollars in an earmark for the National Drug Intelligence Center–a building both the Government Reform Committee and General Accounting Office say is unnecessary.

When confronted about his impropriety, Murtha threatened Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) with a cut-off of federal funds to his district. Of course, the AP pushes blame on Rogers in this release:

On the floor of the House of Representatives Thursday, Rogers alleges, Murtha — upset by Rogers’ aggressive attempts the week before to kill the project in Murtha’s home district — said something along the lines of “I hope you don’t have any earmarks in the defense appropriation bill because they are gone and you will not get any earmarks now and forever.”

Rogers said he replied by saying, “This is not the way we do things here” and “is that supposed to make me afraid of you?”

“That’s the way I do it,” Murtha said, according to Rogers.

The House code of official conduct states that a congressman “may not condition the inclusion of language to provide funding for a congressional earmark … on any vote cast by another member.”

Murtha said in a statement released Friday,”The committee and staff give every Democrat and Republican the same consideration. We have extensive hearings and every request is given careful consideration. We will continue to do just that.”

The conflict seems to have begun last Friday, when Rogers introduced legislation that would have stripped $23 million in funding from the House Intelligence Act designated for the National Drug Intelligence Center, a project created in 1993 to centralize and coordinate drug intelligence. Located in Johnstown, Pa., in Murtha’s district, the NDIC employs approximately 400 of his constituents.

Last week, House Democrats rejected a Republican bid Tuesday to reprimand Murtha.

But should Democrats need Republicans to submit such a bid? Or should they simply do the right thing?

We can’t expect them take care of their “own children” when they do wrong, but Democrats are proficient in dragging corrupt Republicans into the center circle. But, you might argue, Republicans should have handled Foley themselves when they had the majority. Absolutely, you’re right.

But when Pelosi promises “the most ethical Congress” this country has ever seen and amasses nearly as many strikes against Democrats in 5 months as Republicans did in six years, we can’t wait to see what the next 2 years of a Democrat majority hold. Certainly not much to benefit anyone other than those in power. And why should it matter? There is no “War on Terror” anyway…

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