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House GOP Nixes Dems’ Corruption Measure

December 8, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) _ House Republicans, in a party-line vote, rejected a Democratic-sponsored resolution Thursday denouncing a ``culture of corruption exhibited by the Republican leadership.″

The resolution, introduced by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, would have specifically condemned the GOP majority’s practice of holding open close votes until wavering Republicans can be won over, sometimes with favors or threats.

It cited a vote on a Medicare prescription drug benefit in late 2003 that was held open for nearly three hours. One Republican, who eventually voted no, later said that during that time he was promised money for his son’s election campaign if he would vote yes. Normally, House roll call votes run for 17 minutes.

The congressman, former Rep. Nick Smith of Michigan, still later qualified that remark, saying someone outside Congress had offered his son campaign support but there was no specific mention of money.

The GOP leadership underestimated the cost of the program in order to prevent more desertions, the resolution said.

It also said Republicans submit to the influence of corporate interests, calling ``into question the legitimacy of the laws they enact and the agenda they pursue.″

The vote was 219-188 against the resolution, with every Republican voting against it and every Democrat except one, Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, voting for it. There was no debate except when Pelosi, hearing Republican grumbling at the reading of resolution, said, ``I know you don’t want to hear it.″


The resolution is H. Res. 591

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