- - Wednesday, January 12, 2011

HOUSE

CREW files complaint

A leading ethics watchdog group filed a formal complaint on Wednesday against two Republican House members who took part in committee debates and floor votes despite having missed last week’s formal swearing-in ceremony for the 112th Congress.

GOP House leaders admitted the glitch involving Reps. Pete Sessions of Texas and freshman Michael Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, scheduling a belated oath for the two members with new Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and passing a bill nullifying votes the pair had cast on a half-dozen bills.

But officials at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said they filed a formal complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics after learning that the two Republicans missed the swearing-in session to attend a fundraiser in another part of the Capitol. Mr. Fitzpatrick contended the event was not a fundraiser but a reception for constituents and supporters.

“Two Republican House members have blatantly violated not only House rules, but federal law and the Constitution,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Will they be held accountable or given a pass?”

SENATE

Lawmakers cite failure to disclose

A Senate document says the Pentagon failed to disclose clandestine cyber-activities in a classified report on secret military actions that goes to Congress, providing a public peek at ongoing oversight questions surrounding the government’s computer-war capabilities.

A brief written exchange between Senate questioners and the Pentagon’s assistant secretary for special operations, Michael G. Vickers, underscores worries that oversight of the Defense Department’s cyber-operations is still a murky work in progress for the Obama administration.

The question posed to Mr. Vickers by the Senate Armed Services Committee expressed concerns that some cyber-activities were not included in a quarterly report on clandestine activities.

Mr. Vickers has been nominated as the Pentagon’s new intelligence chief. If confirmed, he said, he would keep Congress apprised of cyber-activities.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Gay marriage repeal shelved

CONCORD | Republicans who control the New Hampshire House have decided that repealing the state’s gay marriage law won’t be on their agenda this year.

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