Friday, June 09, 2006

DeLay’s Gone But GOP Corruption Lingers

The following letter was written by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

Tomorrow, Tom DeLay officially resigns from the House of Representatives. His resignation brings to an end what the press has referred to as a “criminal enterprise” run out of the former majority leader’s office.

Yet the widespread Republican culture of corruption goes deeper than one man and extends further than one office. Mr. DeLay’s departure under an ethical and legal cloud fails to extinguish that broader corruption.

The corruption extends to legislation written by lobbyists that works for the few, not the many, such as a prescription-drug bill that benefits pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies rather than senior citizens and other Medicare beneficiaries and an energy bill that benefits Big Oil rather than consumers. Mr. DeLay (R-Texas) may be leaving office, but he leaves behind the cost of corruption.

This time of transition could be a time of change. The House of Representatives was established to be a marketplace of ideas where the success of members’ proposals depended upon the strength of their arguments. Every person in America has a right to have his or her voice heard on the House floor, yet today Republicans do not allow Democrats the opportunity to bring any substantive legislation to the floor. By suppressing dissent, they have silenced the voices of nearly half the country.

Whatever the outcome of the November elections, we live in a country that is divided politically. However, the goals that unite us are ultimately larger than whatever policies may divide us. That is why Democrats are proposing change — a new direction for all Americans.

As a start, we have proposed “New House Principles: A Congress for All Americans” that sets standards for civility and integrity. These principles should be the hallmark of any Congress, regardless of which party holds the majority, and they are the standards by which we intend to govern.

When it comes to addressing the needs of all Americans — creating good jobs, reducing the cost of healthcare, achieving energy independence — we must find common ground. And I am confident we can find this common ground. For all the division we have experienced, we have key areas of shared interest where cooperation could produce sound policies for the American people.

Last fall, after working with leaders in business and the academic community from across the country and across the ideological spectrum, Democrats introduced an innovation agenda that will ensure continued American competitiveness in the global economy. And last month the Democratic Caucus’s Rural Working Group proposed a plan to energize America, with America’s farmers fueling our energy independence. It would replace foreign oil with homegrown biofuels so that we can send our energy dollars to the Midwest, not the Middle East — creating jobs and moving America toward energy independence in the process. These are ideas that both parties must embrace.

For us to move forward on these and so many other issues that are so vital to America’s future we must have greater civility and greater integrity and commit ourselves to working on those issues that unite all Americans, rather than making narrow appeals to division.

If we can find our common ground with civility and integrity, the last day of service for one Republican leader can become a new day of openness and progress for Congress. The American people expect and deserve no less.

Now I do not agree with Mrs. Pelosi all of the time, however, I think she hit the nail on the head in the bolded excerpt above.

The American people deserve better than what we currently have. John Boehner and the Republicans should put their own interests and special interests aside and pass ethics reform immediatley. It is the right thing to do.

That is the least they can do.