For Immediate Release Public Support Helps Save OCE & It’s Time to Make Office Permanent & Expand Its Powers

Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President

Posted on January 3, 2017

An outpouring of public support helped save the Office of Congressional Ethics from the latest effort by the House to gut its powers to hold Members accountable. Republican, Democratic and Independent voters let Members know by phone, e-mail and social media that they want more accountability– not less - from their elected representatives in Washington.

This latest effort by House Members to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics was not the first and it certainly won’t be the last. Since its creation, Members have regularly tried to gut the office through a variety of means. It is long past time for Congress to make the Office of Congressional Ethics permanent by codifying it into law – instead of through House rules alone - so we don’t face continual efforts to defund, defang or do away with OCE every two years.

It is also time to give OCE subpoena power to allow it to do its job even more effectively. Voters have made very clear in recent cycles that they are sick and tired of business as usual in Washington. It’s time for Congress to recognize that voters want change in Washington and empowering OCE and making the office permanent can help them deliver on their promises to their constituents.

A letter sent today to House Speaker Paul Ryan by Common Cause and more than 30 reform groups and individuals with expertise in governance issues urged him to oppose the proposal to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics and remove it from the House rules being considered by the full House. The proposal was withdrawn.

To read the letter, click here.

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.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Ethics

Tags: Congressional Ethics

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