House Democrats rejected a Republican bid Tuesday to reprimand Rep. John Murtha, a senior lawmaker accused of threatening legislative reprisals against a GOP member who had crossed him…
Murtha, known for his bluff manner and fondness of pork barrel projects, did not dispute claims that he charged across the House floor May 17 to confront Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich. Rogers had tried unsuccessfully to strike a $23 million Murtha earmark — a targeted spending item — for a drug intelligence center in Murtha’s district…
In a House speech Monday, Rogers said Murtha threatened him by saying, “you will not get any earmarks now and forever.” Rogers, backed by House GOP leaders, said Murtha’s threat violated congressional ethics rules.
In conversations with colleagues and reporters, Democrats played down the incident. Murtha is known for blowing off steam, they said, and his comments to Rogers were too vague to constitute a genuine violation of ethics rules. “It’s time to put on your long pants and grow up,” Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said in an interview when asked how Democrats would respond.
Still, several Democrats said some party members found it distasteful to vote to protect Murtha.
Yeah, you can tell from the roll they were all broken up about it. Total Democrats voting: 221. Total voting for Murtha: 219.
Update: “During the vote, Murtha sat in a darkened corner of the House floor, laughing with colleagues who surrounded him during the vote. As the clock wound down, other Democrats him to congratulate the senior member of the Appropriations Committee who oversees a massive defense spending bill every year.”