In partisan skirmishing over Rep. Newt Gingrich’s ethics, the House on Friday rebuffed a Democratic move to force a public report on an inquiry into the speaker’s standards of conduct.
The Democratic resolution, rejected on a Republican-engineered procedural vote, would have required a House ethics committee progress report by Nov. 28. The report would have had to include an explanation of why an outside counsel has not been hired after a 14-month inquiry.
Outsiders have been used in most major House ethics inquiries, including the investigation that led former Democratic Speaker Jim Wright of Texas to resign on June 1, 1989. The Wright investigation was initiated by a complaint from Gingrich, R-Ga., who successfully demanded an outside counsel.