By Susan Crabtree - 06/03/09 01:57 PM EDT
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is making plans to offer a resolution as early as Wednesday afternoon that will provide Democrats political cover on an FBI investigation into the now-defunct PMA Group and its ties to senior Democratic lawmakers.
The resolution would force the House ethics committee to disclose whether it is investigating the nexus between campaign contributions and earmarks PMA Group clients have received, according to knowledgeable Democratic sources. Such a move would implicate Reps. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), whose office the FBI subpoenaed for documents last week, as well as Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) because both are top recipients of PMA campaign contributions and have doled out millions of dollars in earmarks to the firm’s clients.
In closed-door leadership meetings Hoyer has tried to convince Democrats to vote in favor of Flake’s resolution as a way to defuse the issue, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has resisted.
Flake said he would be happy to step aside and allow Hoyer to offer the resolution, as long as it wasn’t watered down in any way.
“I think [Democratic leaders] are in a real box,” Flake said. “If they allow a real investigation between earmarks and campaign contributions, there are a lot of places that could go.”