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House Speaker Skipped Katrina Relief Vote to Attend Congressional Fundraiser

By ThinkProgress  

"House Speaker Skipped Katrina Relief Vote to Attend Congressional Fundraiser"

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On Wednesday, House Speaker Dennis Hastert opposed calling Congress back into session to pass a relief package for Katrina victims:

[Hastert spokesman Ron] Bonjean said calling Members back to town this week is not the best course of action.

One day later, as Carpetbagger pointed out, he was suddenly trying to take credit for the whole idea:

Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), said [Hastert] is committed to helping the victims in the Gulf region.

“We’ve approached the Minority Leader [Pelosi] with a proposal to bring the House back into emergency session to pass emergency funding for Hurricane Katrina victims,” Bonjean said.

Today, the Washington Post reports that Hastert skipped out on the vote to attend a fundraiser and an antique car auction:

[After the vote, Hastert] issued a statement saying, “Our prayers and sympathies continue to be with the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In times like these, it is more important than ever for Americans to stand united in helping our fellow citizens.”

But there was one problem: Hastert was not in Washington, and his top lieutenants had to oversee the vote. He was in Indiana attending a colleague’s fundraiser, staff members said, and he later attended an antique car auction.

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