Speaker Pelosi released the following statement on H.R. 580, Restoring Checks and Balances in the Confirmation Process of U.S. Attorneys, which passed by a vote of 329 to 78:
House Bill Restores Constitutional Checks and Balances in Appointment of Interim U.S. Attorneys
This legislation restores Constitutional checks and balances in the appointment process of interim U.S. Attorneys. It removes a loophole inserted by the prior Republican Congress that permits the indefinite appointment of interim U.S. Attorneys without Senate confirmation.
Recent evidence indicates that the Bush Administration — contrary to public and private assurances — exploited this loophole to fire a respected U.S. Attorney in order to appoint a protÃƒÂ©gÃƒÂ© of Karl Rove without confirmation.
Congress must now find out what happened with the unprecedented mid-term firings of U.S. Attorneys for ostensibly political purposes. This legislation is a small step toward restoring confidence and independence in the administration of justice.