By JAVIER MANJARRESDemocratic National Committee (DNC) leader and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) recently sat with the USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief, Susan Paige, where she discussed gun control, the possible government shutdown, and the Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The meeting was conducted in Wasserman Schultz’s DNC office, and not in her legislative office. This said, Wasserman Schultz may have forgotten to take off her congressional pin, which some would say is a conflict between the two positions she holds.
Earlier this year, a number of members of the Democratic caucus in the House, blurred that fine line between acting as an official congressional representative, and acting as a partisan political surrogate, after appearing in a House Majority PAC commercial wearing their congressional pins.
The pins are distributed by the U.S. House of Representatives Sergeant at Arms for identification purposes. We called the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and they referred us to the House Ethics Committee. We then reached out to the committee’s counsel who did not care to comment on the matter, referring us only to the House of Representatives’ Members’ Handbook.While we couldn’t find anything in writing stating that these members were in any clear cut and dried ethics rules violations, we did this entry on page 123 of the handbook under “General Prohibition Against Using Official Resources for Campaign or Political Purposes”
The argument can be made that congressional lapels are a type of goods and are not paid for by the individual member, they are distributed by the House of Representatives as a whole. According to the FEC, members are not allowed to use their office or position to campaign.
When ‘DWS’ was asked about the recent Navy yard shooting, she responded:
When asked if about gun control and the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, with regards to background checks, ‘DWS’ said the following:
We have almost exclusively Republicans who have seeded their decision-making to outside groups on what’s best for the country, and what’s best for preventing violence related death from occurring to outside organizations, particularly the NRA.
Plain and simple, it didn’t happen because you have too many Republican members of Congress, who refuse to support any commonsense changes in the laws related to gun safety, refused to support the simplest of background checks, because these members are petrified of being challenged by the NRA and having their resources poured in against them in their re-election.
‘DWS’ conceded that the government is heading towards shutdown, because ” Republicans engaged in an internal civil war, and the tea party has won,” and then adding that “its evident that we are headed towards government shutdown.”
The DNC Chairwoman concluded with a slight against Speaker John Boehner, saying that he is ” letting the tail wag the dog,” referring to the “hardcore group of Tea Party extremists” she feels are running the show in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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