Sunday, November 28, 2004

Letter received by constitutent of Gutknecht (MN)

Up-to-date vote count on DeLay Rule. Petition Hastert to hold recorded vote.

Reader and Minnesota resident L.B. received a letter from Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-did not vote) dated November 19th (the day after the vote) explaining his position on the DeLay Rule:

Although I was meeting with Taiwanese dignitaries and was unable to attend the meeting where this change was passed, I would have opposed the rule change. I believe that politicians need to hold themselves to a higher standard, and any attempt to weaken rules designed to prevent the impugning of the House of Representatives is a step in the wrong direction. As lawmakers and national leaders, we should hold ourselves to the highest standard of integrity and I believe that both parties should work hard to ensure that members of their caucus are held to the strictest ethical standard.

If anyone else has received letters, share them by posting them here or emailing me.


  • From Jerry Lewis (California-41)

    Thank you for writing to me regarding the House Republican Conference leadership and internal rules. I appreciate you taking the time to get in touch.

    As you may know, the Republican members of the House of Representatives who were elected to the 109th Congress met in November to elect party leaders. The members voted unanimously to re-elect the current leadership team, including Majority Leader Tom DeLay. There were no other candidates for the office, and no dissenting votes.

    At the same time, the Republican members voted on the rules that will govern our conference in the upcoming congressional term. One of those rules, proposed by Congressman Henry Bonilla of Texas, will require for the first time that any Republican congressional leader or committee chairman who is convicted of a felony must immediately step down from their post. The rule passed by the conference also requires the Republican Steering Committee, which oversees committee assignments, to meet and consider asking for the resignation of any leader or chairman if they are indicted on felony charges. The chairman or leader must step down if the steering committee votes to require their resignation. I supported this rule change, along with the vast majority of the conference members.

    Because no leader or chairman is currently facing a felony indictment, the rule only affects future actions. If an indictment is brought forward, the steering committee will meet and determine if the leader or chairman must step down. If they are convicted, they will automatically be forced to resign their position.

    I feel this rule is both tough and fair, ensuring that our leaders meet high standards while giving members the same rights they have under the Constitution to defend themselves against charges. I will certainly listen to the views of my constituents in the event that such decisions must be made.


    Jerry Lewis
    Member of Congress

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:34 PM  

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