WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats, determined to make an election-year point about ethics, voted to strip Rep. William Jefferson of his committee assignment Thursday night while a federal bribery investigation runs its course.
Members of the rank and file approved the move after Jefferson refused for weeks to step aside on his own, and despite claims by some members of the Congressional Black Caucus that he was being treated unfairly.
Officials said the vote was 99-58. The action must be ratified by the full House, and Jefferson left open the possibility that he might at long last relent and surrender the seat on his own. “I don’t want to speculate,” he said.