The Buzz: Sens. Boxer, Vitter shed bipartisanship, spar over health amendment

09/17/2013 12:00 AM

09/17/2013 12:20 AM

In May, California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and a Republican colleague, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, sang each other’s praises on the Senate floor as lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the water-infrastructure legislation they had crafted.

On Friday, Vitter asked the Senate ethics committee to investigate Boxer over what Vitter describes as an “intimidation and payoff scheme.”

Vitter accused Boxer of attempting to punish him for insisting the Senate vote on an amendment to end health-insurance subsidies for members of Congress.

According to a report in Politico, the Democrats countered with an amendment to end the health care payments for the senators who voted for Vitter’s amendment – and to any lawmaker who was determined by the ethics panel to have “engaged in the solicitation of prostitution.” In 2007, Vitter’s name surfaced in the “D.C. Madam” prostitution scandal.

Vitter asked the committee to investigate whether Boxer was engaged in “political scare tactics, personal attacks, and threats that would affect each Senator’s personal finances (i.e. bribery).”

Through a spokesman Friday, Boxer said, “Senator Vitter has manufactured a bizarre and phony attack that demeans the Senate.”

– Curtis Tate

Capitol Alert

Want to keep track of bills that are now on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk?

Our new Capitol Alert Insider Edition app is available for either your iPhone or iPad. You’ll be prompted to pay $19.99 a month or $199 a year.



WORTH REPEATING

"I don't want to be too hard and fast on any one of these things because I have not gone through every detail, every permutation."

ARNE DUNCAN, U.S. education secretary, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, slightly backing off from his criticism of California's move to computer-based school testing

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the Discussion

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service