Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Oooh, Nancy, Now You've Made Them Angry

Now the Black Caucus is angry with Nancy Pelosi for asking for William Jefferson to withdraw from his seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
The CBC’s chairman, Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), engaged in a heated argument with Pelosi on the House floor Tuesday afternoon after Watt heard reports that Pelosi was considering calling for Jefferson’s ouster, according to one witness.

Members of the CBC are expected to confront Pelosi today in a meeting that was previously scheduled to address separate concerns about Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.). That meeting is now likely to focus more on Jefferson, a Democratic aide said.

With 43 members, the CBC is a formidable force in the 202-member Democratic caucus and one Pelosi is unusually reluctant to antagonize. Should Democrats take the House, the CBC would control four, and possibly five, committee chairmanships.

....Most lawmakers would not comment afterwards, but a CBC aide summed up some members’ frustration, saying, “Congresswoman Pelosi, by preemption without any legal justification, has now created a new precedent for how members are going to be treated. Unfortunately, she’s chosen to single out an African-American for this honor.”

Then the aide added an electoral threat, saying, “The African-American community, which overwhelmingly backs the Democratic Party, will not take this lightly. I hope she enjoys being minority leader.”
They're angry that she is calling on Jefferson, a black man, to resign from the Ways and Means Committee but didn't ask Alan Mollohan, a white man, to resign from the Appropriations Committee upon news that he is being investigated for financial shenanigans that he is suspected of engaging in.

They'll talk big and she'll apologize and then they'll be back to voting in lockstep. It's sweet that the CBC is so ready to adopt the "innocent until proven guilty" approach to William Jefferson. I doubt that they are taking the same approach towards Tom DeLay.