The House voted 270-134 on Wednesday to force the ethics committee to disclose whether it is investigating defunct lobbying firm PMA Group and its ties to senior Democratic appropriators.
The resolution, offered by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), gives the panel 45 days to report on whether it is probing the PMA Groups dealings with the lawmakers. Democrats offered the measure to try to head off Republican criticism that they have failed to confront the burgeoning PMA controversy.
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has garnered a steadily increasing number of Democrats on his calls to force an investigation of the matter. He voted against Hoyers resolution, indicating in an interview before the vote that he would oppose it if it appeared to be merely a stalling tactic to take the heat off the majority.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.