Should Republicans take control of Congress, the party likely will not relitigate two alleged job offers made by the White House to get two Democratic primary candidates to drop their bids.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who could become chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Tuesday that he wants to look into the general issue of offering jobs in exchange for political favors, but said that the two cases from earlier this year are shut-and-closed.
Earlier this year, Republicans pounced on the White House's admission that it offered Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff the possibility of taking low-level administration posts in exchange for them dropping out of their respective Senate primary races.
Sestak went on to win the nomination over Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) but Romanoff lost to appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who was backed by the White House.
As the Sestak story broke, Issa said it could be the President Obama's "Watergate," referring to the scandal that brought down President Nixon. After the White House issued its side of the story through its legal counsel, Republicans in Congress tried and failed to get more information about the offers.
Issa said as his panel looked into the incidents, he discovered presidents in both parties had done it. He called the practice "illegal" but said it had wrongly become a part of accepted political negotiations.
"When we were doing that investigation, we discovered the Bush administration had done that same thing by their own admission," he said, adding "I hope to work in a bipartisan basis to say that it has to stop."