House to Consider Relaxing Its Rules
House Republican leaders are urging members to alter one of the chamber’s fundamental ethics rules, which would make it harder for lawmakers to discipline a colleague.
The proposed change would essentially negate a general rule of conduct that the ethics committee has often cited in admonishing lawmakers — including Majority Leader Tom DeLay — for bringing discredit on the House even if their behavior was not covered by a specific regulation. Backers of the rule, adopted three decades ago, say it is important because the House’s conduct code cannot anticipate every instance of questionable behavior that might reflect poorly on the chamber.
Republicans, returning to the Capitol on Tuesday after increasing their House majority by three seats in the Nov. 2 election, also want to relax a restriction on relatives of lawmakers accepting foreign and domestic trips from groups interested in legislation before the House.
A third proposed rule change would allow either party to stop the House ethics committee from investigating a complaint against a member.
I do not understand the need for these rule changes. I thought Republicans were supposed to be the epitome of morality and ethics. Are they saying they’re not?