An Ethical Congress

In a late night speech on the day America voted, November 7, 2006, incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Peolosi (D – Calif) said “The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest , most open, and most ethical Congress in history…”

Before I had finished choking on my biscuit, incoming Speaker Pelosi announced her favored choice and full support for Rep. John Murtha (D – Pa) to be her House Majority Leader. So Democrat Pelosi’s first action to lead  the “most ethical Congress in history” was to annoint a co-conspirator snared in the Abscam probe in 1980. When the bribe was dangled before his eyes in 1980, Murtha responded by saying, “I’m not interested – at this point. You know, we do business for a while maybe I’ll be interested, maybe I won’t, you know.”

Now Pelosi has made know her intentions to force ranking Democratic committee member, Rep. Jane Harman (D – Calif) to step aside so that Pelosi may appoint Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida to chair the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. This is the committee whose oversight covers the CIA, the FBI, and the Departments of Defense, Energy, Justice, State, and Homeland Security. Readers may recall that former Judge Alcee Hastings was  impeached by the House for bribery from two racketeers and was subsequently convicted and removed from office by the United States Senate in 1987. Rep. Hastings shares the dishonor of impeachment with only six other Federal judges impeached since this country’s founding in 1787. 

Fortunately, Pelosi’s bid to seat Murtha as the Majority Leader failed by a vote of 149 – 86. This was a big loss for incoming Speaker Pelosi. With Pelosi’s support now thrown to Alcee Hastings for the Intelligence committee and the removal of Rep. Jane Harmon who has been on the Intelligence committee since 2002 – over four years, even Democrats are beginning to question her wisdom.

Which brings us to another point. The probable Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said in her campaign that within the first 100 hours of her leadership, she would implement all of the 9/11 commission recommendations. One of the commission’s recommendations was that members of the House and Senate committee’s for Homeland Security oversight should be of permanent standing with a non-partisan staff. Rep. Harmon’s four-year position in the House Select Committee on Intelligence and Homeland Security may not be so “permanent” after all. 

What else will Pelosi renege or backtrack on?  

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