Washington (CNN) - In a highly unusual move, every Republican member of the House ethics committee issued a statement Tuesday blasting the Democratic chairwoman for "stalling" on making a decision on whether to hold trials for New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel and California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters before November's election.
"Members of the Committee have repeatedly expressed their willingness and desire to move forward with public trials of these matters and have repeatedly made themselves available to the Chairwoman for October settings. In past Congresses, Committee Members have returned to Washington during a recess in an effort to conclude pressing Ethics matters," said the statement, signed by ranking Republican Jo Bonner and the four other GOP lawmakers on the committee.
The committee - officially the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct - has investigated Rangel on allegations of multiple ethics violations, including failure to report income and financial assets, and using his influence to solicit donations for a policy center bearing his name.
Waters is accused of helping a bank in which her husband owned stock.
Both Rangel and Waters have called on the committee to hold their trails before November.
An aide to House Ethics Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren told CNN that she is on a plane to Washington, returning from California, and will have a formal response later on Tuesday.
A senior Democratic aide familiar with the committee deliberations called the GOP move highly political, and flatly denied that Lofgren has refused to set a date for the trails, insisting to CNN that she has been trying to work with Republicans behind the scenes to come up with a mutually agreeable date.
The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to address the secret deliberations.
The evenly split ethics committee has a reputation for working in a bipartisan manner; it is rare for partisan differences to spill out into the open.
The Republicans say this statement was prompted by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's comments on Sunday that scheduling the trials is "up to Jo Bonner and Zoe Lofgren."
Republicans called Hoyer's statement inaccurate, citing a committee rule that trials and meetings are "at the discretion of its Chair."
Aides to Rangel and Waters said they had no immediate comment.