House Republicans aren’t giving in to order from the chief administrative officer to remove a website devoted to earmark reform. The site, earmarkreform.house.gov, remained active today despite an order from Dan Beard last week to shut it down.
House Minority Leader John Boehner is defying Beard’s order until he gets a formal response from the chief administrative officer, according to Roll Call ($). A spokesman for Boehner called Beard’s decision “contradictory” because it reverses his office’s approval of the domain name last August.
At issue is whether the domain name violates House rules established under Republicans in 1999. Beard contends that the rules prohibit the use of a slogan, and must be derivative of a member’s name. Using that standard, however, would call into question other domain names, most notably globalwarming.house.gov, which was established last year by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
The conflict offers Congress a perfect opportunity to reevaluate its rules governing websites, which, at nearly 10 years old, are in much need of revision to keep current with the times.