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

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