GOP goofball buzzword alert!
According to a story just out from Roll Call (sub.req.), Speaker Denny Hastert has placed congressional "private travel reform" on the agenda in the House.
What is congressional "private travel reform"? Well, according to Republicans, the current rules for regulating when private interests can pay for junkets for members of Congress are themselves responsible for the likes of Ney, DeLay, et al. getting in trouble for taking fancy trips on the dime of cronies and fixers like Abramoff.
Rep. Alan Mollohan (W.Va.), Democratic ranking member on the Ethics Committee, has rebuffed Speaker Hastert's request for a rule change.
In particular, he told Hastert, "It is also important to note that in proceeding on the matter of privately funded travel, the Committee must take care to ensure that there is no suggestion that the rules themselves are to blame for any problems that have occurred â i.e., there can be no suggestion whatsoever that this is an effort to scapegoat the rules for improper Member conduct. I believe we can all agree that Members who are sophisticated enough to pass the laws of the land are sophisticated enough to understand the straightforward House rules on privately funded travel."
No word from Hastert on how it feels to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Tom DeLay.
Late Update: We've posted a copy of the Mollohan letter here.