Saturday, January 08, 2005

GOP Leaders Tighten Their Grip on House

GOP Leaders Tighten Their Grip on House

By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 9, 2005; Page A05

House Republican leaders moved swiftly last week to tighten and centralize control of the new Congress by replacing uncooperative committee chairmen and changing the chamber's rules to deter ethics investigations of leaders.

The Republicans expanded their majority by only three seats in the Nov. 2 election, yet party leaders have been emboldened by GOP domination of all branches of government and appear determined to squelch dissent in their own ranks and to freeze Democrats out of key decisions.

Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) moved to force out the ethics committee chairman, Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), who supported three formal admonishments of Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) last year, and ousted the chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee for failing to toe the party line on spending. The GOP leaders also rammed through a change in House rules to make it more difficult in the future to file an ethics complaint against DeLay or other members.

(Later in the article:)

Democrats and some Republicans, troubled by the moves, cite parallels between today's Republicans and the Democrats who lost their 40-year hold on the House in 1994 after Gingrich and other conservatives campaigned against them as autocratic and corrupt, and gained 52 seats.

"It took Democrats 40 years to get as arrogant as we have become in 10," one Republican leadership aide said.

MORE

Comment: No longer being unified in reelecting an incumbent, I wonder how long it will take for these attempts at enforcing rule from the top to break down. There are many natural conflicts in the Republican party, such as between social conservatives and economic conservatives, supportes of smaller government and the big-government Bush administration, and between neoconservatives and traditional conservatives. The corrupt manner in which the GOP leadership is ruling is also an issue in itself, which is likely to lead to some rebellion within hte party.

2 Comments:

Blogger IFK Editor said...

Ron or anyone,

Have you heard anything about Kerry's PAC or his website? How are things moving on that.

Anyone know what's become of Michael Whouley? I hope he stays on in some capacity to organize the dem state parties or to plan a future ground game for 06 and beyond.

10:07 PM  
Blogger IFK Editor said...

Ron or anyone,

Have you heard anything about Kerry's PAC or his website? How are things moving on that.

Anyone know what's become of Michael Whouley? I hope he stays on in some capacity to organize the dem state parties or to plan a future ground game for 06 and beyond.

10:07 PM  

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