House ethics panel said to have reached a deal

The Republican chairman and ranking Democrat on the House ethics panel reached a deal on Wednesday, The Hill newspaper reports. Other news sources only reported that a deal was near.

The panel has been at a standstill over how to organize. But Reps. Doc Hastings (R-Washington), the chairman, and Alan Mollohan (D-West Virginia), the ranking member, will now move forward with an investigation into overseas trips taken by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), The Hill said.

Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has been accused of paying for the trips, a potential violation or DeLay. Abramoff took $25,000 from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians to help fund one trip to Scotland and England but the tribe says it didn't authorize the expenditure.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), a member of the Chickasaw Nation and the only Native American in the House, sits on the ethics panel. He has recused himself from any DeLay investigations because he received money from DeLay's political committees and contributed money to DeLay's legal defense fund.

Get the Story:
Ethics panel strikes deal (The Hill 6/30)
House Ethics Panel Near Accord to End Stalemate (The New York Times 6/30)
Democrat says deal near on ethics panel (AP 6/29)

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