CBSN

House Republicans Rebuff White House On Iraq Corruption

House Republicans delivered a sharp rebuke of the Bush administration Tuesday, siding overwhelmingly with Democrats on a symbolic measure to criticize the State Department for failing to provide Congress with more information about government corruption in Iraq.

One hundred seventy-one Republicans joined 224 Democrats on a resolution “regarding the withholding of information relating to corruption in Iraq.”

All 21 "no" votes on the non-binding resolution, sponsored by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), were cast by Republicans.

The resolution cites a series of official investigators who claim rampant corruption within the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has undermined the U.S. military effort in Iraq.

The measure also describes one State Department official’s refusal to answer questions about corruption in a public setting and the agency’s move to retroactively classify two reports that depict the Maliki government in a negative light.

The top two Republicans in the House – Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio and Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri – did not vote on the measure. And Conference Chairman Adam Putnam, the third-ranking Republican, voted for the resolution.

The vote is purely symbolic, but the lopsided tally represents a stark departure for President Bush's most loyal constituency in Washington.