Hoyer says PMA 'ought to be looked at'

The resolution pushed through the House by Democrats on Thursday is a clear call for the ethics committee to look at congressional ties to the troubled PMA lobbying firm, according to the House leader who brought it to the floor.

The wording of the resolution asks only that the House ethics committee report back on whether it is investigating PMA. But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the real meaning is that the committee should do something.

“The message was very clear,” Hoyer said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Thursday morning. “This is a serious matter and ought to be looked at.”

Hoyer also said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) supported the move. Pelosi is the key ally of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), who is the political target of Republicans pressing the ethics committee to investigate PMA. Murtha is a top recipient of PMA campaign contributions and has doled out millions of dollars in earmarks to the firm’s clients.

Some House Democrats have cast their vote as a call for the House to "investigate" PMA, and Hoyer is backing them. Asked about a press release from Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) that said the vote shows "the House leadership finally has agreed this matter needs an investigation," Hoyer agreed it was accurate.

He later clarified that “investigation” is a “loaded word,” and said the message is that the ethics committee should look at the matter and investigate if it suspects violations.