Rep. Flake’s Resolution Fails

CQ reports that Rep. Flake’s resolution providing for an investigation into any link between campaign contributions and earmarks was killed. 

Whereas Roll Call reported on February 9, 2008, that the offices of a prominent lobbying firm had been raided by the FBI in November;

Whereas The New York Times reported on February 10, 2009, that ‘‘Federal prosecutors are looking into the possibility that a prominent lobbyist may have funneled bogus campaign contributions’’ to Members of Congress;

Whereas the Washington Post reported on February 14, 2009, that they ‘‘examined contributions that were reported as being made by the firm’s employees and consultants, and found several people who were not registered lobbyists and did not work for the lobbying firm’’;

Whereas Roll Call reported on February 11, 2009, that ‘‘the defense-appropriations- focused lobbying shop that the FBI raided this November’’ had in recent years ‘‘spread millions of campaign contributions to lawmakers’’;

Whereas The Hill reported on February 10, 2009, that the raided firm ‘‘earned more than $14 million in lobbying revenue’’ and ‘‘specializes in obtaining earmarks in the defense budget for a long list of clients’’;

Whereas The Hill reported on February 10, 2009, that the 2008 clients of this firm had ‘‘received $299 million worth of earmarks, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense’’;

Whereas CQ Today reported on February 19, 2009, that ‘‘104 House Members got earmarks for projects sought by clients of the firm in the 2008 defense appropriations bills,’’ and that 87 percent of this bipartisan group of Members received campaign contributions from the raided firm;

Whereas CQ Today also reported that ‘‘Members who took responsibility for the firm’s earmarks in that spending bill have, since 2001, accepted a cumulative $1,815,138 in campaign contributions from the firm’s political action committee and employees’’;

Whereas Roll Call reported on February 19, 2009, that a bipartisan group of four Members have made plans to divest themselves of campaign contributions received from the raided firm;

Whereas Politico reported on February 12, 2009, that ‘‘several sources said FBI agents have spent months laying the groundwork for their current investigation, including conducting research on earmarks and campaign contributions’’;

Whereas numerous press reports and editorials have alleged several cases of influence peddling between Members of Congress and outside interests seeking Federal funding;

Whereas such reports and editorials reflect public distrust and have raised inquiries and criticism about the integrity of congressional proceedings and the dignity of the institution; and

Whereas the House of Representatives should respond to such claims and demonstrate integrity in its proceedings:

Now, therefore, be it resolved that: (a) The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, or a subcommittee of the committee designated by the committee and its members appointed by the chairman and ranking member, is instructed to investigate the relationship between earmark requests already made by Members and the source and timing of past campaign contributions. (b) The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct shall submit a report of its findings to the House of Representatives within 2 months after the date of adoption of this resolution.  

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