- Post 09 July 2012
- By Copy Editor
(Washington Examiner) -- Despite a new House report detailing how lawmakers and their staff appear to have unethically benefitted from a special discount loan program, no efforts were underway by the policing arms of Congress to penalize offending members.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has no plans to file an official complaint with the House Ethics Committee against any of the three current House members involved, despite suggesting in a 115-page report he released Thursday that the special Countrywide Financial loans provided to them clearly appear to violate a House rule prohibiting them from receiving gifts.
"The congressman has always described his intent in this as exposing the facts," Issa spokesman Frederick Hill explained to The Washington Examiner. "It has long been the practice within Congress for the Ethics Committee to make its own decision about launching an investigation."
Issa months ago "forwarded" to the ethics panel the names of the lawmakers and staff who received special Countrywide loans, and on Thursday he sent the panel his latest detailed investigation. But unless he files an official complaint, there won't be a probe unless the typically dormant ethics panel decides to launch one itself.
And that's not likely.
The Ethics Committee rarely launches inquiries into member misdeeds. And it has been silent about Countrywide since media reports surfaced four years ago about the company's "VIP" program, which offered easier borrowing criteria, waived points and fees and lowered interest rates for senators, House members and key employees. continues...