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Media Contacts: David Vance, National Media Strategist, 240-605-8600, dvance@commoncause.org Katie Scally, Communications Director, 408-205-1257, kscally@commoncause.org

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New Report: Office of Congressional Ethics’ First 15 Years – Successes, Survival & Recommendations

As the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) marks its first 15 years, Common Cause is releasing, “The Little Engine that Could,” a short analysis examining the watchdog’s impact in the House of Representative. The report looks at the history behind the creation of the OCE, its successful nonpartisan record, and the most serious attempts by House Members to undermine or do away with the watchdog entirely. The report also suggests reforms, like codifying the OCE into law and giving it subpoena power, to further strengthen the independent watchdog.

Common Cause/NY on Santos Expulsion: "Good!"

"Today's decision to expel Mr. Santos is a win for voters and democracy. Mr. Santos' deception and likely violation of federal law has been clear for a long time. Voters did not deserve a representative that lied and defrauded his way into Congress. The House Ethics Committee's diligent bi-partisan report made crystal clear that Mr. Santos is plainly unfit to serve in public office any longer. We commend the New York delegation's overwhelming bi-partisan vote in favor of expelling Mr. Santos, and all other Representatives who voted to protect the integrity of the House."

Common Cause/NY Demands Congress Expel George Santos

In response to breaking news that the House Ethics Committee released a 56-page report that concludes Representative George Santos violated federal law, Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY said: “Today’s fact finding bi-partisan report from the House Ethics Committee makes it crystal clear that Mr. Santos is unfit for public office. Recognizing the seriousness of the remedy of expulsion, Common Cause/NY has waited for the process to play out appropriately. Now we and the House of Representatives are left with only one option: Congress must expel Mr. Santos.

Common Cause Veterans Kathay Feng and Stephen Spaulding Step Into VP Roles

Common Cause is pleased to announce that two Common Cause veterans have stepped into the role of vice president at the government watchdog. Longtime Common Cause leader Kathay Feng will step into the role of Vice President for Programs and Stephen Spaulding is returning to Common Cause from his role as Policy Director of the U.S. Senate Rules Committee and will serve as Vice President for Policy & External Affairs. Together the two will help lead Common Cause’s national efforts to reduce barriers to a more representative democracy. They will also support efforts for the organization’s 30 state operations working to create a 21st Century democracy that works for everyone.

Office of Congressional Ethics Saved Again But Must be Made Permanent

Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s thinly-veiled attempt to scuttle the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) has been turned back by quick action from Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and House Democrats. The office faced newly-enacted arbitrary terms limits that disqualified several sitting Democratic board members and outrageously tight deadlines to replace them and hire staff. Thanks to Minority Leader Jeffries, and his swift appointments of new board members overcoming the GOP effort to gut the OCE, the office is on its way back to holding our representatives accountable.

Government Accountability Groups: Independent House Ethics Office Must be Strengthened and Made Permanent

Today, Common Cause and more than 20 other government accountability groups urged every member of the U.S. House of Representatives to codify the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) into law. The letter follows a recent move by House Republicans to hobble the independent ethics watchdog in the new rules package for the 118th Congress. The letter emphasizes that voters made it very clear in the midterm elections that they are demanding more accountability from their elected representatives in Washington, not less.

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