Earlier this week, House Republicans voted to rescind their own 11-year-old rule which required party leaders to temporarily step aside if indicted. The move was seen as motivated to protect majority leader Tom DeLay, who is at the center of a political corruption controversy in his home state of Texas. The rule change was approved behind closed doors by voice vote.
Its chief author, Representative Henry Bonilla of Texas, said later that only a handful of members had opposed it. The Republicans’ old rule was adopted in August 1993 to put a spotlight on the legal troubles of prominent Democrats.
Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo is spearheading an effort to force individual members to publicly reveal how they voted. Thus far, Marshall and his readers have only gotten an answer from one Colorado congressman, Rep. Bob Beauprez, who voted for the lowering of the party’s ethical standards. We’ve decided to pick up the ball and get answers from the state’s four remaining congressional reps. Stay tuned.