Brad Messer Commentary
8:15 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10, 2003

When Republicans took control of Congress in 1995, they passed some ethics rules.

They outlawed junkets to resorts, paid for by charitable organizations.

There had been scandals for years. So-called seminars or educational meetings set up by special interests, consisting mostly of a lot of golf, fancy dining and other ritzy vacation perquisites.

When Congress went back into session this week, three things were done immediately. Unemployment benefits were extended. Congress should have done that before the Christmas break but didn’t.

Another thing done immediately, quietly and in the dark of night, was to get those free vacation trips happening again. As reported by CNN, the free junket rule change quote “passed on a party-line vote 221-203. A Democratic effort to kill the resolution was defeated, 225-200.” Free vacations again. Let the good times roll!

Another thing done on the first day back. Eliminate a lot of those embarrassing votes on increasing the national debt. The new rule says if congress votes to spend more than we expect to have, that includes an automatic vote to raise the national debt limit. No separate vote anymore. They think, that way, people won't notice.

Aren’t you proud of how much Congress accomplished on its first day back!

Brad Messer— commentary, KTSA.


Jan. 7, 2003 CNN
House weakens ethics rules

Jan. 9, 2003 Campaign for America's Future
DeLay Opens His House with the Special Interest Buffet

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