Is Ethics Panel Probing Lawmakers’ PMA Ties? Hoyer Wants To Know

The PMA story is starting to become a major headache for congressional Democrats.

RollCall reports that Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House number 2, plans this afternoon to offer a measure designed to force the House Ethics committee to reveal whether it’s investigating senior Democratic appropriators’ ties to the now-defunct lobbying firm.Rep. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican and passionate earmark foe has been agitating for a probe, and Hoyer’s move appears to be a grudging response to the fact that Flake has slowly been gaining support among Democratic lawmakers. Flake’s efforts got a key boost last week when Rep. Pete Visclosky, who chairs an appropriations subcommittee and has close ties to PMA, announced he’d been subpoenaed by federal investigators, who are examining whether the firm gave contributions in return for earmarks.

Aside from Visclosky, the other Democrat whose ties to PMA have drawn the most scrutiny is Rep. John Murtha, who chairs the the Defense Appropriations committee. And it’s worth noting that there’s never been much love lost between Murtha and Hoyer. Back in 2006, the two were rivals for the Majority Leader post, and they’ve clashed publicly over Iraq, among other issues.

Something tells us this story is only going to get bigger…