Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., stirred up an ethics storm for himself by threatening Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., on the House floor, promising to pay back Rogers for opposing a $23 million earmark for the National Drug Intelligence Center in Murtha’s district. Murtha’s alleged threat — to deny Rogers’ district any earmarked spending projects — would violate the new Democrat-backed House rules, and Rogers unsuccessfully sought a rebuke of Murtha over it on Wednesday. But that was Murtha’s second recent floor outburst. Earlier this month, he similarly went after Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, in a floor exchange blurrily recorded by C-SPAN and now viewable on YouTube.com and in a blistering anti-Murtha ad by the National Republican Congressional Committee. As the Hill newspaper described it, “Murtha vented his anger against Tiahrt for voting to kill NDIC by unleashing a loud, finger-jabbing, spittle-spraying piece of his mind”; his threat against Tiahrt involved pulling support for any Boeing deal involving new military refueling tankers.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has defended Murtha’s reputation over the incidents, but they will test whether she and other Democratic leaders are serious about ethics reform.
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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