Democrats accused Republicans on Saturday of using “doublespeak” and
abusing their power in order to help special interest groups.
Republicans burdened by the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, Senate
Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said in the weekly Democratic
radio address that years of controlling both the White House and
Congress had corrupted the Republican Party.
“There is a price to
pay for this Republican abuse of power and it can be seen in the
present state of our union,” Reid said. “Special interests and the
well-connected have been rewarded by Republicans while everyone else
has been left behind.”
The scandal theme is likely to play a role
in the run-up to the November congressional elections. Abramoff entered
guilty pleas in a wide-ranging bribery investigation that has prompted
calls by both parties for reform.
The scandal has implicated at
least one member of Congress, Republican Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, and some
former aides to Rep. Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican who stepped down as
Reid accused Republicans of using “doublespeak” to sell their agenda.
they wanted to let energy companies release more pollution into the
air, they called it the ‘Clear Skies Initiative,”‘ he said. “When they
wanted to let loggers cut down more trees and weaken environmental
laws, they called it the ‘Healthy Forests Initiative.’
favorite Republican doublespeak is when they wanted to give tax breaks
to their special interest friends even though it meant adding more than
$50 billion to our deficit, they called their effort the ‘Deficit
Reduction Act,”‘ he said.
Reid’s harsh criticism followed an
apology he made this week to Republicans senators for a news release
outlining reports of ethical problems, singling out individual senators.
Reid apologized for the tone of the document released by his office, saying it went too far.