Rep. Jeff Flake to Push Ethics Committee on PMA Probe
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) will likely bring another resolution before the House of Representatives next week calling on the House Ethics Committee to release more details of the investigation into lawmakers linked to the PMA Group pay-to-play controversy, his office told the NLPC Tuesday.
Rep. Flake has been the lone member of Congress pushing for more information on the investigation since late February, when the Ethics Committee released a brief, 5-page report on its probe of the politicians who obtained earmarks for clients of the now-defunct PMA Group lobbying firm. The D.C.-based PMA shuttered its offices last year after the FBI began investigating allegations that the lobbying group exchanged campaign contributions for earmarks.
Seven members of Congress have since been "cleared" of any misconduct by the Ethics Committee, including the late Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS).
However, Rep. Flake maintains that the report issued by the ethics committee offers lawmakers few details on the investigation and no future guidance for lawmakers.
On Mar. 25, Rep. Flake introduced a resolution to compel the ethics committee to release the information that led to its decision to clear the seven lawmakers. Like a similar resolution previously introduced by the congressman, the House voted to refer it to the Ethics Committee, which can choose whether or not it wants to act on the matter.
The resolution is Rep. Flake's "top priority" for after the congressional recess, which ends next Monday. He will continue to offer it until the Ethics Committee acts, said his spokesman.
Alana Goodman is NLPC's Capitol Hill Reporter