The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, June 16, 2006

House Dems vote to remove Jefferson from committee

"Democrats are determined to hold a high ethical standard," the party's leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record), said Thursday night after engineering a 99-58 vote of the rank and file that stripped Jefferson of his seat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

"This isn't about proof in the court of law. This is about an ethical standard," Pelosi said. "I wish that the White House would do the same."

Democrats long have accused Republicans of nourishing a "culture of corruption" in Congress, and signaled their desire to make ethics a key issue in their drive to win control of the House in the November elections.

The vote came despite a final plea from Jefferson and persistent complaints from members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which said the Louisianan was being sanctioned without a rule or a precedent to justify it.

For his part, Jefferson conceded to reporters he faced "serious allegations" in connection with an investigation that has netted two convictions. The congressman maintains his innocence and has not been indicted, although the FBI says it found $90,000 in bribe money several months ago stashed in a food freezer in his home.