Boehner Names Two to Page Oversight Board

Posted March 7, 2008 at 11:35am

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has appointed Reps. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) to the House Page Board, replacing two Republican board members who resigned in December.

Reps. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) left the board after accusing Clerk of the House Lorraine Miller of not keeping them up to date on page expulsions. Brown-Waite also alleged that the pages were not adequately supervised, citing an incident where two pages allegedly performed sexual acts in a dorm elevator.

Boehner pledged to resolve the issue before appointing new board members. In December, Boehner and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that they would commission two investigations into the page program: one by the House inspector general and another by an independent group.

The IG released its report about a month ago, recommending that officials write a visitor policy for the adult supervisors of the page dorm and appoint a new deputy clerk to oversee the program. Soon after, Page Board Chairman Dale Kildee (D-Mich.) announced that the board would follow through on those recommendations.

Those actions satisfied Boehner — within days, he said he would fill the open Republican seats on the board. The independent investigation appears weeks away, but on Friday, spokesman Kevin Smith said Boehner felt the positions needed to be filled.

“With the IG report complete and a full-scale review of the program upcoming, the Leader wanted two new members in place and is comfortable this was the right time to move forward with these new appointments,” Smith said in an e-mail.

In a press release Friday, Boehner reiterated the importance of keeping pages safe.

“The House Page Board plays a critical role in caring for and protecting the young men and women who take part in this program every year,” he said. “Reps. Foxx and Bishop are devoted to the program’s success and uniquely equipped to take a leading role on this panel.”

Both Bishop and Foxx have an education background — Bishop was once a high school history teacher and Foxx was the assistant dean of the General College at Appalachian State University. Foxx will work to ensure that the high school pages are in a safe environment, said spokesman Aaron Groen.

“She believes that this is an exceptional opportunity for young people to learn about how government works,” he said. “Her top priority is protecting and safeguarding these children and ensuring that they can take advantage of that educational opportunity.”