Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has asked for a congressional investigation into an allegation that a lawmaker was offered a bribe to vote for the recently passed Medicare reform bill, and Hoyer said Democrats may look into the matter themselves if House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) doesn't. In response to Modern Healthcare's questions, Hastert's office said Hastert will not call for an investigation himself and will leave the decision to the House ethics panels. Soon after Congress passed the Medicare bill late last year, Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.) said some groups and lawmakers had promised to support his son's congressional campaign if Smith voted for the bill. Smith voted against the bill; it passed the House in a close vote, 220-215. The Justice Department is looking into the allegation, but Congress faces fewer restrictions, Hoyer said in his Jan. 20 letter to Hastert. Since the bill became law, Democrats have complained about several of its provisions and have vowed to make changes. -- by Tony Fong
Lawmaker urges Congress to review bribery report
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