Congress sends wrong message to the people

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2003

In a reversal of folk wisdom, which holds, ''If it ain't broke, don't fix it,'' Congress has taken something that was fixed, and it has broken it.

When the 108th Congress reconvened Jan. 7, it might have been expected to get right to work on saving Social Security or cutting taxes or addressing the budget and its looming deficits or tackling the health care crisis.

But, no, one of the first things the U.S. House of Representatives did was roll back the 1995 ethics rules that prohibited members of Congress from accepting all-expenses-paid vacations from lobbyists or elaborate gifts of expensive food.

We never thought we'd hear ourselves pining for the days of Speaker Newt Gingrich, but at least he had a sense that the people's House should be careful about the messages it sent.

-- Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio

Jan. 17

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