04.21.07 @ 08:12 eastern
Rep. Lewis Should Step Down From Appropriations Committee
This week, it was reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) raided both Rep. John Doolittle's (R-CA) home and Rep. Rick Renzi's (R-AZ) family business. Although these members were under federal investigation, they did not step down from their respective committee assignments until these raids occurred this week.
Their resignations leave open the question as to why congressional leaders have allowed Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), who is currently under FBI investigation, to maintain his plum assignment as the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee.
Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said today, "Raids of a member's home or business cannot be the new standard for what compels a member to step down from a committee post. Rep. Lewis, as the top Republican appropriator, is responsible for funding all federal agencies, including the Justice Department, which is conducting a probe into his potentially criminal activities. It is well past time for Rep. Lewis relinquish his seat on the Appropriations Committee pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation."
Reps. Doolittle, Renzi and Lewis were all named in Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's 2006 Most Corrupt report, Beyond DeLay. More details can be found at http://www.beyonddelay.org.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.
note: In 2006, CREW named Doolittle, Renzi and Lewis on their list of the 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress. Several others including Richard Pombo, Rick Santorum and J.D. Hayworth were not re-elected to their Congressional seats in November 2006.
© 2006 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington