Mollohan seeks changes to House ethics rules

Rep. Allan Mollohan (D-W. Va.), ranking Democrat of the House Standards of Official Conduct Committee, introduced a bill late Wednesday evening that would roll back changes to House ethics rules that Republicans passed in their January rules package for the 109th Congress.

By doing so, Mollohan appears to have forgone the bipartisan opportunity to work  with the panel's new chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.).

Mollohan's proposed bill, which he introduced in a floor speech, would reverse the rules change that requires the ethics committee to automatically dismiss any complaint that the panel has not acted on within 45 days of its filing.

The bill would also delete a lawmaker's right to demand an immediate adjudicatory hearing to clear away implications of misconduct raised by an ethics committee admonishment. Thirdly, the bill would prevent more than one lawmaker from being represented by the same attorney.

The House parliamentarian has referred the bill to Rules' Legislative and Budget Process Subcommittee, which is chaired by Hastings.