- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hastert backing Romney

Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate in-waiting, is trolling Congress for A-list support and just reeled in former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert.

Mr. Romney, former Massachusetts governor, said the addition of Mr. Hastert to his presidential exploratory committee “is a clear indication that our message is being embraced across the country.”

Mr. Hastert, Illinois Republican, said unannounced candidate has “proven executive leadership.”

“He sees the challenges before us and is not afraid to confront them,” he said. “Governor Romney is the right kind of leader for America.”

Republican lawmakers backing Mr. Romney include Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Reps. Jim McCrery of Louisiana, Howard “Buck” McKeon of California, Dave Camp of Michigan, Tom Feeney of Florida and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

No offense to Delegate Norton

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer today said the Democrat’s plans let delegates from U.S. territories cast symbolic votes on bills was not an excuse to put off full voting rights for D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

“This is not in any way a substitute, replacement for or a delaying tactic of Mrs. Norton having a full vote as every other member of the Congress who represents full United States citizens,” Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, told reporters.

“It is outrageous, undemocratic and inconsistent with American principals that a District of Columbia representative does not have a full, complete vote in the House of Representatives.”

He promised a debate on D.C. voting rights, perhaps as early as March.

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

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