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Wednesday, Dec 13, 2006, 12:00 am

Democrats Considering Outside Ethics Panel for New Congress

By Brian Zick
Carl Hulse for the NY Times reports:
House Democrats are seriously exploring the creation of an independent ethics arm to enforce new rules on travel, lobbying, gifts and other issues that Democrats intend to put in place on taking power next month.

Senior party officials said Tuesday that Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the incoming speaker, had consulted with Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the minority leader, on forming a bipartisan group to examine outside enforcement. The goal would be to have the group report back in the spring.

An independent Congressional watchdog, if approved, would be a major break with tradition. Some lawmakers say House and Senate members have sole responsibility for policing themselves when it comes to internal rules.
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