Common Cause Condemns Congress’ Decision to Weaken Nonpartisan Ethics Office

Washington, DC — This evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its organizing resolution that will prevent the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) from holding members accountable to the voters.  

The following is a statement from Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs at Common Cause. 

“When our leaders in Congress fail to live up to basic ethical standards of conduct, we expect them to be held accountable.  

House Republicans’ proposal will handcuff the nonpartisan ethics office, making it more difficult to ensure there are consequences for breaking the rules.  

As their first legislative act, Congressional Republicans have decided to significantly weaken the independent ethics office. Their actions are a complete failure of leadership.”

The Office of Congressional Ethics:
The Office of Congressional ethics was first created with Common Cause’s support in 2008 after the Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, and Bob Ney scandals. The Office of Congressional Ethics has successfully held accountable many Democratic and Republican members of Congress who likely would have avoided accountability under the broken House Ethics Committee process.