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Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Rep. LaHood calls for suspension of page program
From CNN Ticker Producer Alex Mooney

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Illinois, a longtime ally of embattled House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, called again for a temporary suspension of the Congressional page program as shockwaves of the Foley scandal continue to reverberate across Capitol Hill.

"It's an antiquated system," LaHood, appearing on CNN's American Morning, said Thursday. "My idea is let's suspend it, send the pages home and have some scholarly people in Washington really evaluate the program and bring it into the 21st Century. It's a program that simply is flawed. It has its flaws. We should fix it. If it's a valuable program, perhaps bring it back."

LaHood told CNN's Dana Bash Tuesday that he would immediately call his children back home if any one of them was serving as pages.

"If one of my kids were a page right now, they'd already be back in Peoria," he said.

LaHood, who promptly came out in support of Hastert yesterday amid resignation calls, again defended his colleague.

"He's been a good leader, a good speaker," LaHood said. "This idea he should resign is absolute nonsense and it's just a lot of political fodder for people who want to make hay 35 days before the election."
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