Pelosi invites Jefferson to address House Democrats


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last night extended an invitation to Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) to address a members-only meeting of House Democrats this afternoon, allowing Jefferson the chance to state his case before the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, a decision-making body which looks poised to vote to oust him from the Ways and Means Committee while he faces a government bribery investigation.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last night extended an invitation to Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) to address a members-only meeting of House Democrats this afternoon, allowing Jefferson the chance to state his case before the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, a decision-making body which looks poised to vote to oust him from the Ways and Means Committee while he faces a government bribery investigation.

The invitation comes after several members of the Congressional Black Caucus -- most notably Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) -- suggested in a steering committee meeting yesterday that Jefferson be given the opportunity to defend himself before the group.

"If there's going to be action, everyone has to have their say," Meeks said following the meeting.

Nonetheless, it looks likely that the committee will vote to remove him. Pelosi has called for his ouster and it is likely that the panel -- filled with Pelosi loyalists -- will back the minority leader.