For Immediate Release It’s Time for Congress to Get Rid of the “I Didn’t Know Better” Excuse

Aaron Schock is evidence that we need to pass a bill requiring strong ethics enforcement and trainings

Posted on March 17, 2015

Chicago, IL – Rey Lopez-Calderon, Executive Director of Common Cause Illinois released this statement following the resignation of Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock:

“Rep. Aaron Schock’s resignation makes an open and shut case for stronger ethics enforcement and training in Congress. Ignoring yet another case of an elected official’s egregious misconduct will only perpetuate the already high level of mistrust by the people of Illinois.

"Congress has become a millionaire’s playhouse. When representative start making decisions based on whether they can keep up with the lavish lifestyles of their millionaire and billionaire donors, the needs of the American taxpayer – who by the way pay their salaries – become chopped liver. Every instance of abused of power by our elected officials adds to the mistrust of our government. In a state where we experience the second lowest voting turnout rates, we need to expect better.

“Rule-breakers like Rep. Schock like to pretend like they didn’t know any better. The fix to that is simple: require members of the U.S. House to learn the very ethics rules they voted into place in 2009. The first thing the House should do in response to this scandal is pass the ETHICS Act of 2015, which would mandate that all House members, officer and staff complete an annual ethics training program.

“Congress can’t erase the unending string of people who have abused their power, but they can take steps to begin winning back our trust. Today we’re talking about one man, but we all know the problem is systemic.”

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 Illinois, Common Cause National

Issues: Ethics and Transparency, Ethics

Tags: State Ethics

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