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GOP Lawmaker Asks Pelosi to Remove Visclosky From Committee During Probe of Lobbyist Ties

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on Thursday asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to urge Rep. Peter J. Visclosky to resign from the Appropriations Committee pending the outcome of an ongoing federal investigation into his congressional and campaign activities. 

"With public confidence in Congress at an all-time low it is imperative, when faced with situations such as Rep. Visclosky's, that House leaders act responsibly and without delay to safeguard the integrity of the House," Issa said in his letter to the speaker.

Issa's request comes one day after the House passed a resolution requiring the Ethics Committee to announce whether it is investigating lawmakers in connection with PMA.

The FBI is probing the defunct lobbying firm, which had ties to Visclosky, chairman of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, and other lawmakers. 

The Indiana Democrat has already recused himself from the appropriations process on the fiscal 2010 energy and water bill and handed the duty over to Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz.

Paul Magliochetti, a former staff member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, founded PMA, which was once a powerhouse lobbying firm that specialized in securing lucrative military contracts for its clients. Federal officials are investigating whether the defunct firm was used to funnel donations to lawmakers through so-called straw donors.

Visclosky's former congressional chief of staff, Richard Kaelin, left his office to become a lobbyist at PMA. The firm also heavily subsidized Visclosky's political work: One out of every $5 in political donations Visclosky took in during the last seven years came from PMA employees or its clients.

Ethics groups assert the link between Visclosky's earmarks -- federal money directed by lawmakers to specific projects -- and PMA's donations are an example of pay-to-play politics.

FOX News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.