We are encouraged that the "Honest Leadership and Open Government Act" introduced today by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) contains a provision to strengthen oversight and enforcement of lobby disclosure rules through the creation of an independent Office of Public Integrity. This is a positive step, and we welcome it. "The fact that this legislation would make enforcement less partisan by having the House Inspector General appoint its director is also another move forward," said Common Cause President Chellie Pingree.
However, for the same reasons we need independent oversight and enforcement of lobbyists, we need the same for the conduct of Members of Congress. "We know that many of the excesses in the Abramoff scandal were already in violation of existing rules," Pingree said. "Without credible, independent enforcement and oversight of House and Senate ethics rules, many of the proposed reforms in this bill and others -- while laudable -- will fail to influence behavior."
Common Cause's goal is the strongest bipartisan legislation we can achieve. We will continue to work with both the Democratic and Republican leadership in House and Senate to the get strongest reform proposal enacted.
Office: Common Cause National
Tags: Congressional Ethics
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.