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House Speaker Ready For Reprimand Today

Tue., Jan. 21, 1997

Rep. Newt Gingrich, a historian who has boasted that he is a “transformational figure,” is poised to make history today by becoming the first speaker of the House to be disciplined by a vote of the House.

Shortly after the House goes into session at noon, Rep. Nancy L. Johnson, R-Conn., chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee, is to call up a resolution that would adopt the ethics panel’s recommendation that the House reprimand Gingrich and order him to pay $300,000 toward the costs of the committee’s investigation of him.

Gingrich, R-Ga., agreed to the penalty in December as part of a deal in which he admitted his guilt to modified charges of breaking House rules - essentially a plea bargain.

Gingrich need not be present in the chamber to be reprimanded. The whole process may take as little as 90 minutes from start to finish.

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