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Under fire from Democrats, incoming House speaker Newt Gingrich(R-Ga.) today backed off from his proposal floated earlier this week to dismantle the House ethics committee and wrap its functions into another panel. Today, he said it would remain as a "free-standing committee with an equal number of members on both sides, totally nonpartisan." Gingrich's statement came after Democrats accused Gingrich of trying to hide his own ethical problems.Post your opinion on theWashingtonbulletin board.