Boehner doesn't defend NH's Rep. Guinta over contributions

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WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner stopped short Tuesday of defending embattled Rep. Frank Guinta, saying lawmakers must meet "the highest ethical standards" when asked if the New Hampshire Republican should remain in Congress.

Boehner's arms-length response was the latest sign from Guinta's fellow Republicans that they're not ready to dismiss the Federal Election Commission's findings that the New Hampshire congressman accepted illegal campaign contributions from his parents.

The case involves $355,000 that Guinta reported lending himself in 2010. He has denied that money came from his parents, but the commission said it did and fined him $15,000.

By law there are limits on the amounts individuals can contribute to federal candidates in an election cycle. That cap is currently $2,700 per election, a figure that is adjusted for inflation every two years.

Several top New Hampshire Republicans have suggested Guinta should step down. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said she would quit if she were in Guinta's position.

"I think all members should be held to the highest ethical standards," Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters.

He said he hasn't reviewed all the details in Guinta's case but plans to do so soon.

Guinta has said he will remain in office. The New Hampshire GOP's executive committee has declined to ask him to step down.

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